Janek S. | 6 Oct 20:41 2012
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Am I the only one having problems with RWH?

I began learning Haskell 9 months ago. I still consider myself a beginner, but I'm progressing 
towards more advanced concepts. I read scientific papers (simpler ones) and books about Haskell 
and functional programming. Right now I'm reading Pearls of Functional Algorithm Design, 
Introduction to Functional Programming, Implementation of Functional Programming Languages and 
Real World Haskell. RWH is causing me a lot of trouble though. This leads me to frustration 
because book covers rather basic material. I just spent another 1,5 hour reading chapter 10 again 
and trying to understand how presented parsing functions work. Even if I am barely able to grasp 
what is going on I feel that I wouldn't know how to write such code by myself. Am I the only one 
having such problems with RWH?

Jan
Patrick Mylund Nielsen | 6 Oct 21:03 2012

Re: Am I the only one having problems with RWH?

I'm not totally sure if you're having problems with RWH, or think it's
too easy, but here are my thoughts on both:

Both RWH and LYAH (http://learnyouahaskell.com/) are intended for
beginners/people who just want to get started, and RWH tends to be
regarded as the hardest to understand ("read LYAH then RWH.") (RWH is
also specifically aimed at demonstrating how to solve practical
problems, not "hard"/academical ones.) I too agree that LYAH is the
easier one, and it is slightly more focused on the theory and concepts
of Haskell, so I would definitely recommend checking that out. I found
that the topics and chapters of the two books mix nicely--you don't
get the feeling that you're just reading the same book twice.

For other Haskell-related writings, Simon Marlow is currently writing
a book based on his Parallel and Concurrent Programming in Haskell
tutorial (http://community.haskell.org/~simonmar/par-tutorial.pdf) for
O'Reilly at the moment. In the meantime, I've found the Simons' papers
to be interesting reading:

http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/people/simonpj/
http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/people/simonmar/

The level of the papers range from LYAH-style material to the more
abstract/advanced a la Philip Wadler's Theorems For Free
(http://ttic.uchicago.edu/~dreyer/course/papers/wadler.pdf) Most of
Philip Wadler's papers are also very interesting:
http://homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/wadler/

So, you're probably at a level where you'll want to start looking for
interesting academical papers on Haskell/FP and theory, then re-visit
(Continue reading)

Mark Thom | 6 Oct 21:25 2012
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Re: Am I the only one having problems with RWH?

I also had problems when I began reading RHW, early in my career as a Haskell beginner. The functional pearl on monadic parsers by Hutton and Meijer was a great help in understanding the thinking behind Parsec. While reading it, I had some difficulty understanding why certain functions should ever terminate, but once I got past that, it made chapter 10 of RWH much easier to understand. Also, the functional pearl on applicative functors by Conor McBride and a second author (can't recall his name) blew the door open on the subject, for me.

On Sat, Oct 6, 2012 at 1:03 PM, Patrick Mylund Nielsen <haskell <at> patrickmylund.com> wrote:
I'm not totally sure if you're having problems with RWH, or think it's
too easy, but here are my thoughts on both:

Both RWH and LYAH (http://learnyouahaskell.com/) are intended for
beginners/people who just want to get started, and RWH tends to be
regarded as the hardest to understand ("read LYAH then RWH.") (RWH is
also specifically aimed at demonstrating how to solve practical
problems, not "hard"/academical ones.) I too agree that LYAH is the
easier one, and it is slightly more focused on the theory and concepts
of Haskell, so I would definitely recommend checking that out. I found
that the topics and chapters of the two books mix nicely--you don't
get the feeling that you're just reading the same book twice.

For other Haskell-related writings, Simon Marlow is currently writing
a book based on his Parallel and Concurrent Programming in Haskell
tutorial (http://community.haskell.org/~simonmar/par-tutorial.pdf) for
O'Reilly at the moment. In the meantime, I've found the Simons' papers
to be interesting reading:

http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/people/simonpj/
http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/people/simonmar/

The level of the papers range from LYAH-style material to the more
abstract/advanced a la Philip Wadler's Theorems For Free
(http://ttic.uchicago.edu/~dreyer/course/papers/wadler.pdf) Most of
Philip Wadler's papers are also very interesting:
http://homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/wadler/

So, you're probably at a level where you'll want to start looking for
interesting academical papers on Haskell/FP and theory, then re-visit
RWH once in a while. I found the papers on STM, Cloud Haskell, and
Parallel Haskell, to be the most interesting, easy to understand, and
practically useful.

On Sat, Oct 6, 2012 at 1:41 PM, Janek S. <fremenzone <at> poczta.onet.pl> wrote:
> I began learning Haskell 9 months ago. I still consider myself a beginner, but I'm progressing
> towards more advanced concepts. I read scientific papers (simpler ones) and books about Haskell
> and functional programming. Right now I'm reading Pearls of Functional Algorithm Design,
> Introduction to Functional Programming, Implementation of Functional Programming Languages and
> Real World Haskell. RWH is causing me a lot of trouble though. This leads me to frustration
> because book covers rather basic material. I just spent another 1,5 hour reading chapter 10 again
> and trying to understand how presented parsing functions work. Even if I am barely able to grasp
> what is going on I feel that I wouldn't know how to write such code by myself. Am I the only one
> having such problems with RWH?
>
> Jan
>
> _______________________________________________
> Haskell-Cafe mailing list
> Haskell-Cafe <at> haskell.org
> http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe

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Janek S. | 6 Oct 21:54 2012
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Re: Am I the only one having problems with RWH?

Dnia sobota, 6 października 2012, Mark Thom napisał:
>Also, the functional pearl on applicative functors by Conor McBride and a second
> author (can't recall his name) blew the door open on the subject, for me.
Good to hear, it's in front of me on the desk and I'm planning to finish that pearl tomorrow (BTW. 
Ross Paterson is the second author).

> I'm not totally sure if you're having problems with RWH, or think it's
> too easy, but here are my thoughts on both:
I consider RWH to be a bit too hard for me.

>  I too agree that LYAH is the
> easier one, and it is slightly more focused on the theory and concepts
> of Haskell, so I would definitely recommend checking that out.
I already read LYAH.

> For other Haskell-related writings, Simon Marlow is currently writing
> a book based on his Parallel and Concurrent Programming in Haskell
> tutorial (http://community.haskell.org/~simonmar/par-tutorial.pdf) for
> O'Reilly at the moment. In the meantime, I've found the Simons' papers
> to be interesting reading:
Yes, I know about the upcomming book and I'm awaiting it. Right now I'm digging through REPA 
papers, but Marlow's tutorial is next on my list of things to read.

> So, you're probably at a level where you'll want to start looking for
> interesting academical papers on Haskell/FP and theory, then re-visit
> RWH once in a while
Well, I figured out that before I go into more academic stuff I should have more knowledge about 
the basics, which I thought would be covered by RWH. Hence my frustration from not understanding 
a book that's supposed to introduce people to Haskell.

I guess I'll start with reading some papers on parallelism and go back to RWH when I have more 
experience.

Jan

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Haskell-Cafe <at> haskell.org
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Eric Rasmussen | 6 Oct 22:48 2012
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Re: Am I the only one having problems with RWH?

I found I had to keep switching between RWH and other books for these concepts to sink in. A really good resource that I don't see mentioned too often is the Haskell wikibook:

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Haskell

I don't remember it covering parsec specifically but if you get grounded in all the concepts there, the RWH chapters on parsec will make more sense. It also helped me to take breaks from RWH and re-read chapters later.

Also if you find yourself getting discouraged, I really like Brent Yorgey's article on the monad tutorial fallacy: http://byorgey.wordpress.com/2009/01/12/abstraction-intuition-and-the-monad-tutorial-fallacy/

It uses monads as an example but describes the process of learning difficult concepts.

On Sat, Oct 6, 2012 at 12:54 PM, Janek S. <fremenzone <at> poczta.onet.pl> wrote:
Dnia sobota, 6 października 2012, Mark Thom napisał:
>Also, the functional pearl on applicative functors by Conor McBride and a second
> author (can't recall his name) blew the door open on the subject, for me.
Good to hear, it's in front of me on the desk and I'm planning to finish that pearl tomorrow (BTW.
Ross Paterson is the second author).

> I'm not totally sure if you're having problems with RWH, or think it's
> too easy, but here are my thoughts on both:
I consider RWH to be a bit too hard for me.

>  I too agree that LYAH is the
> easier one, and it is slightly more focused on the theory and concepts
> of Haskell, so I would definitely recommend checking that out.
I already read LYAH.

> For other Haskell-related writings, Simon Marlow is currently writing
> a book based on his Parallel and Concurrent Programming in Haskell
> tutorial (http://community.haskell.org/~simonmar/par-tutorial.pdf) for
> O'Reilly at the moment. In the meantime, I've found the Simons' papers
> to be interesting reading:
Yes, I know about the upcomming book and I'm awaiting it. Right now I'm digging through REPA
papers, but Marlow's tutorial is next on my list of things to read.

> So, you're probably at a level where you'll want to start looking for
> interesting academical papers on Haskell/FP and theory, then re-visit
> RWH once in a while
Well, I figured out that before I go into more academic stuff I should have more knowledge about
the basics, which I thought would be covered by RWH. Hence my frustration from not understanding
a book that's supposed to introduce people to Haskell.

I guess I'll start with reading some papers on parallelism and go back to RWH when I have more
experience.

Jan

_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
Haskell-Cafe <at> haskell.org
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe

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