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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • by ziggy (25) on 2009.02.17 10:55 (#67447) Journal

    What on earth could convince someone writing a programming book for beginning programmers that having them type in examples they can't type in would be a good idea?

    I think I see your problem. Programming in Haskell is an academic text. It's written by a professor who is interested in approaching Haskell for students of mathematics. The target audience will understand the use of standard math symbols and their translations into ascii. That's one reason why it's so expensive yet so thin. It's not meant for "beginning programmers".

    For a more approachable introduction to Haskell, you should be looking at Real World Haskell. That book is geared towards a more typical O'Reilly audience -- practitioners and programmers. It's not an introduction to programming (Haskell as a first language is not really a good idea), and expects the reader to have a background in some other language before beginning.

    • But why present code which the student can't type? (Even down to the Haskell interpreter prompt?) And the preface states that it's for computer science students at university level or anyone who just wants to learn Haskell. It's designed to be a tutorial and doesn't say that it's for math students.

      That being said, I need to check out "Real World Haskell". I've heard it's pretty good.

      • Don't take everything you see in books as the author's intent. My he screwed up, maybe an editor changed it, or something else. Who knows. Sure, the notation sucks, but why waste energy trying to figure out why? Note it and move on in life. :)

      • If it's written for an academic audience, it *might* be written with an assumption that most courses will have a lab set up with appropriate keyboards. (Or keyboard overlay and proper programming of one of the bucky keys.)

        Certainly, APL texts normally assumed access to an APL keyboard.

        • No, it's not for an academic audience. The back cover, the front page and the preface all make it clear that the book is for anyone who wants to learn Haskell.

    • Haskell as a first language is not really a good idea

      The University of Melbourne used to teach Haskell as a first language to all the computer science students (they may still, but I'm not there anymore). This worked superbly well. It worked particularly well as a leveller. Those students who'd come into the computer science degree already knowing some other language were neither advantaged by their previous experience or disadvantaged by the bad habits they'd picked up. It gave a nice, sensible int

      • They are starting to teach Haskell as a first language at the University of Edinburgh as well. However, as someone with a background in programming and the Humanities, I have to say that all the Haskell tutorials for "beginners" that I have seen online and off have all failed miseribly. After the first few examples, they tend to fly off into the realms of higher mathematics when really, all I want to do is manipulate texts.

        I have started teaching Perl to the Humanities students that I come in contact with