Bryan O’Sullivan, Don Stewart and John Goerzen are pleased, and frankly, very excited to announce that we’re developing a new book for O’Reilly, on practical Haskell programming. The working title is “Real-World Haskell”.
The plan is to cover the major techniques used to write serious, real-world Haskell code, so that programmers can just get to work in the language. By the end of the book readers should be able to write real libraries and applications in Haskell, and be able to:
- design data structures
- know how to write, and when to use, monads and monad transformers
- use Haskell’s concurrency and parallelism abstractions
- be able to write parsers for custom formats in Parsec.
- be able to do IO and binary IO of all forms
- be able to bind Haskell to foreign functions in C
- be able to do database, network and gui programming
- know how to do exception and error handling in Haskell
- have a good knowledge of the core libraries
- be able to use the type system to track and prevent errors
- take advantage of tools like QuickCheck, Cabal and Haddock
- understand advanced parts of the language, such as GADTs and MPTCs.
That is, you should be able to just write Haskell!
The existing handful of books about Haskell are all aimed at teaching programming to early undergraduate audiences, so they are ill-suited to people who already know how to code. And while there’s a huge body of introductory material available on the web, you have to be both tremendously motivated and skilled to find the “good stuff” and apply it to your own learning needs.
The time has come for the advanced, practical Haskell book.
Here’s the proposed chapter outline:
- Why functional programming? Why Haskell?
- Getting started: compiler, interpreter, values, simple functions, and types
- Syntax, type system basics, type class basics
- Write a real library: the rope data structure, cabal, building projects
- Typeclasses and their use
- Bringing it all together: file name matching and regular expressions
- All about I/O
- I/O case study: a DSL for searching the filesystem
- Code case study: barcode recognition
- Testing the Haskell way: QuickCheck
- Handling binary files and formats
- Designing and using data structures
- Monad case study: refactoring the filesystem seacher
- Monad transformers
- Using parsec: parsing a bioinformatics format
- Interfacing with C: the FFI
- Error handling
- Haskell for systems programming
- Talking to databases: Data.Typeable
- Web client programming: client/server networking
- GUI programming: gtk2hs
- Data mining and web applications
- Basics of concurrent and parallel Haskell
- Advanced concurrent and parallel programming
- Concurrency case study: a lockless database with STM
- Performance and efficiency: profiling
- Advanced Haskell: MPTCs, TH, strong typing, GADTs
We’re seeking technical reviewers from both inside and outside the Haskell community, to help review and improve the content, with the intent that this text will become the standard reference for those seeking to learn serious Haskell. If you’d like to be a reviewer, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let us know a little about your background and areas of interest.
Finally, a very exciting aspect of this project is that O’Reilly has agreed to publish chapters online, under a Creative Commons License! We’ll be publishing chapters incrementally, and seeking feedback from our reviewers and readers as we go.
You can find more details and updates at the following locations: