Review: Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!

Learn You a Haskell for Great Good! by Miran Lipova?a
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Learn You a Haskell (or LYAH as it’s known on Stack Exchange and other parts of the internet) is the most often recommended resource for learning Haskell. I think it has a lot of things going for it.

1. It’s available on the net for free if you don’t want to (or can’t) buy it
2. It’s got a conversational tone that reminds me of what I love most about the Perl O’Reilly books
3. The author does a good job comparing and contrasting with imperative programming languages (almost all the ones you’ve heard of, if you’re heard of any programming languages).

The bummer for me and the way that I learn is that the author shows lots of small examples and almost no full program examples. There’s an O’Reilly book (also available for free online) that’s a little more traditional in showing some more full programs. However, the reviews on here for that book seem to indicate that it’s due for a revision because it’s a bit out of date.

Should you use this book to learn Haskell? I think it depends a lot on the way you learn. This book and a little help on reddit were enough to get me started on solving Advent of Code problems in Haskell. I don’t need it for work or school, so I can’t say how well it would prepare you for that. Starting with functors and going through Monads, it went over my head on this first read. I’m pretty sure I will need to read it again at some point after writing a little more Haskell.

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