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Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!
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Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!

4.37 of 5 stars 4.37  ·  rating details  ·  698 ratings  ·  63 reviews
It's all in the name: Learn You a Haskell for Great Good! is a hilarious, illustrated guide to this complex functional language. Packed with the author's original artwork, pop culture references, and most importantly, useful example code, this book teaches functional fundamentals in a way you never thought possible.

You'll start with the kid stuff: basic syntax, recursion,
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ebook, 400 pages
Published March 2011 by No Starch Press
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Michael
Properly learning Haskell has been on my todo list for years. One of my first more serious attempts was in 2009, when I found a weird little book with lots of cartoons online. As you may have guessed that was Miran Lipovaca's "Learn You a Haskell for Great Good" and I was immediately intrigued by the writing style and cute cartoons. However back then the book was still a work in progress and I eventually stopped reading it before Miran got around to adding the last chapters. I always promised my ...more
Dmytro Lypai
I would give even more stars to this book. The quote from the back cover is just right: "...you will not find a better way to learn this powerful language...". Of course, you should read a lot of other great books on Haskell (if you want to), but I think this should be the first one. Definitely, one of my favourite books. Just go and enjoy it, you won't regret!
Irene Papakonstantinou
I don't usually send fanmail to writers of books I like, but after I finished this book I messaged this guy to say how much fun this book was to read and how much interest it created for me. It is as page turning as fiction. The writer did a very good job at making the content accessible and interesting, and at the same time addressing the readers as intelligent people (it's not a "for dummies" book) and going beyond scratching the surface.
Alex Ott
The best intro to Haskell that I've seen - easy to understand, fun to read.
The main drawback - not so many practical examples, but this could be improved by reading Real World Haskell: Code You Can Believe In after this book...
Thomas
Fantastic book, which sets a serious example of how programming books can be made both enjoyable and technically deep.
Caolan McMahon
A very nice gentle introduction to the basics, but doesn't go into enough depth or provide enough examples when you start to get into the harder stuff. This is partly down to the learning curve of the language itself, but I feel like the style of the first few chapters just didn't apply as well to the later ones. Seems like a good starting point, I think I'll be trying 'Real World Haskell' after this.

I already have some experience with functional programming, so I can't say how well it might int
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Marshall
This book was a fun, fascinating, and challenging tutorial for the Haskell programming language. It starts out deceptively simple, introducing basic Haskell syntax. It feels elegant, concise, and powerful. Then, much like functional languages themselves are designed, this book builds upon its simpler concepts to build more complex concepts. It sneaks up pretty fast. By the time you're halfway through, you're swimming in a sea of relatively new concepts, all working together to build programs. If ...more
Matt
Fantastic introduction to the programming language Haskell. Took a technical, abstract, and difficult language and made it both fun and accessible. I supplemented occasionally with various articles online (most recently on http://chris-taylor.github.io/blog/20..., but also on functors/applicatives/monads). Pretty much nothing to complain about. I'm going to let the topics simmer in my subconscious mind for six months or a year, and then I think I'll re-read.
Ondřej Sýkora
A nice and quite approachable book about Haskell. I liked it and recommend it to my students (along with the website, from which the book was originally created), but I still feel that if I didn't know most of the concepts before reading the book, I could use more examples (and more examples why a certain feature is needed or useful). But the point probably is that the book is aimed at people, who have experience with programming, but not necessarily with the functional style.
Eric Casteleijn
It does a pretty good job of explaining a lot of the concepts in Haskell in a simple way. Where it gets more complicated it's due to the complexities (or unfamiliarities) of Haskell itself. The humor wore out its welcome after chapter 2 or so, but it's not so obnoxious as to make the book unreadable.
Koen Crolla
Less obnoxious than I remember the website being when I looked at it a few years ago, but still a reminder that I still don't have a good English translation for ``flauwe plezante''. I don't mind humour in textbooks, but caps lock, adolescent spork-holding, and overuse of the word ``awesome'' don't qualify.
If you want to learn Haskell, though, it will certainly get you a good part of the way there. Lipovača is neither the world's greatest programmer nor the world's greatest educator, but so many
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Rahul Phulore
The best introductory book on Haskell. And it's free!
John Lee
Maybe the best programming language introduction I've read! This is a readable and personable introduction to Haskell which does a great job of illuminating its many great features. It's definitely not a book designed to get you building large projects in Haskell, as its coverage of exporting modules is very bare and its coverage of package management (i.e. Cabal) is nonexistent, but it's definitely good at teaching you the basic syntax and data structures of Haskell, including topics which are ...more
Hugoestr
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David
As a beginner, I found understanding about type classes to be a challenge. I'm a fan of functional programming and immutability, and I really enjoy the feature of pattern matching. I like that haskell compiles to native code so that the compiler has to do more of the work of making sure there aren't mistakes in the code. I'm not so sure about cabal though because it seems to not do as good a job dealing with different versions of modules.
Christopher Käck
[An old review from my blog]On monday is my exam in functional programming and I wanted to round of the course with a short note on my course littrature.

Well, it is not really THE course litterature, but the course does not follow a particular book really closely.
So I choose to go with this book (got hold of a copy through a Hacker News sale) and Oh am I glad I did.

It is written by a slovenian Computer Scientist named Miran Lipovača. Miran has a wonderful sense of humor and is a great teacher. T
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Stuart
(Rating changed from 4 stars, see below) I would have given LYAH 5 stars if it wasn't for a few things:

Mainly, as others have commented, there just isn't enough exercises in order to drill lessons into your head. Luckily, for me, I coded all the examples shown in the book as my github account can prove.

Secondly, some of the explanations aren't very clear/skimmed over. It would sometimes take several reads plus working through the logic (on paper) in order for me to understand what was going on.
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Ayberk
Okay, I admit, it is a great book. However, there is one big problem: it does not have any exercises. The book does a great job explaining the concepts, but if you are new to functional programming, the learning is far from complete.

Nevertheless, it is a great read. However, imho, it might be better to read after going through Yorgey's course[1].

[1]:http://www.seas.upenn.edu/~cis194/lec...
Suvash Thapaliya
Really glad that I waited this long to finally go for a Haskell book, and finished it all in a go. This is definitely the most unusual book on a programming language I've ever read. But then, so was my expectations with it. It was definitely quite a fun book.
Simon Hampton
Wonderful. Beautifully written introduction to a very different way of programming. And using a simple of idea of 'data with a context' the author leads you gently through the otherwise treacherous world of monads.
Leonardo
Infantil, suficiente para parecer simples.
Complicado, bastante para ser útil.
Além de citar o/a "Luggage" do Discworld e estar repleto de outros elementos lúdicos e abstratos.
A capa já diz tudo.
Jyri-matti Lähteenmäki
Excellent, excellent book!
A joy to read due to its relaxed style, while still containing a huge amount of knowledge carefully explained.
Highly recommended for every programmer, whether into Haskell or not.
Vladislav
Great, although, for the very beginner.
Everything given in this book is clear, but there is not much of advanced topics.
Eduardo
Few technical books strike the right balance between content and tone. This is one of them.

Even in chapters about supposedly hard subjects like applicatives, monoids and monads, the book has a good pace. I never felt like I was going over my head, and only a few chapters required a re-reading. I have one complaint though: the book needs exercises or mini-projects. That said, I loved it and would easily read anything else by this crazy eastern european named Miran Lipovača.
John
The introductory programming language genre is difficult. There are only a handful of classics like the first C book and the first LaTeX manual to emulate. Striking a balance between, too much and not enough detail, simple but not stupid examples and finding a tone that informs yet keeps readers engaged is far harder than it looks. Miran has met these challenges and produced the finest programming language book I've read in years. That this book was written by a student writing in a second langu ...more
Georgi Krastev
Very fun and educating at the same time.
ℝ
Jan 30, 2014 marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
I have read chapters 1-8 and intend to save the rest for later. It's a good introductory text for Haskell.
Alvaro Tejada
This book will teach you about recursion, pattern matching, guards, monoids, and a handful of things that you couldn't find on a imperative language...

If you want to learn Haskell...this book is definitely for you...written with lots of humor and great examples it makes learning Haskell a real joy...I would recommend it a 100%...

With lots of humor and multiple examples, this is a must read book for anyone willing to learn Haskell...
Sergey Lobin
easy to read and explains a lot of about haskell
Rafal Szymanski
A concise and fun way to introduce you to Haskell from the very basics, up until the intermediate concepts of basic monads. It's written in a less terse way than Real World Haskell, but still manages to not over-simplify, and cover things such as kinds to deepen the understanding of the material. 4/5 because I think it lacks clear-cut exercises at the end of each chapter to solidify the knowledge, and it also ends quite abruptly without a 'next steps' kind of section.
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Most of his time is spent on doing nothing in particular, but when he's not doing nothing he's either programming, drawing, boxing or playing bass. He even has a cool bass tabs site. He also has a collection of stuffed owls and sometimes he talks to them and they talk back.
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