Clojure Gazette 1.87

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Haskell Deep Dive

Clojure Gazette

Issue 1.87 August 03, 2014


Editorial

Hello curious programmers,

One of the things I like most about the Clojure community is our love of good ideas. Clojure collects new perspectives and they enrich the language and programmers who use it.

Following that theme, this week, I went deep into Haskell, looking for what makes it special and relevant today. Haskell is purely functional at its core. While Clojure builds functional idioms on top of imperative constructs (do forms, etc.), Haskell builds imperative constructs out of pure, immutable values. And of course, Haskell is statically typed.

Haskell is well-worth learning and playing with. You will learn a lot, and I hope it will make your Clojure code better :)

Sincerely,
Eric Normand <ericwnormand@gmail.com> @ericnormand

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A History of Haskell: Being Lazy With Class


If you've ever wondered where Haskell came from, who was important in its development, or what their motivations were, this is the paper to read. DISCUSS

Why Functional Programming Matters


A great read about the potentials of functional programming to solve the issues that we have with complex software. DISCUSS

Algorithm W Step By Step


You can't really talk about Haskell without mentioning types. Algorithm W is an implementation of Hindley-Milner, which is the basis for Haskell's type inference engine. This paper contains a very clear implementation (in Haskell) of a type inferencer. A Clojure implementation using this paper exists. DISCUSS

Imperative functional programming


This is the paper that introduced the IO monad. Enough said. DISCUSS

How to make ad hoc polymorphism less ad hoc


A very readable paper introducing Haskell's type classes. DISCUSS

Hoogle and Hayoo!


Haskell has two search engines, appropriately called Hoogle and Hayoo!. Writing in Haskell, you'll inevitably want to convert a value of one type to a value of another type. Or you'll remember the type signature of a function but not its name. Hoogle and Hayoo! let you search for functions based on their type signature. Can't remember how to parse a String as an Int? Search for "String -> Int" and it will find it. DISCUSS

Haskell Cheat Sheet


If you're learning Haskell, it's nice to have a quick guide to all of the syntax. When I was programming Haskell professionally, I would refer to it a lot. This one is a little long but it is comprehensive and explains each bit of syntax with a short paragraph. DISCUSS

Try Haskell


A Haskell REPL in your browser. DISCUSS

Haskell Type Checker


A Haskell type checker in your browser. It comes preloaded with some type puzzles to solve. If the type checker passes, you solved the puzzle! DISCUSS

School of Haskell


Tons of learning material (mostly tutorials) for Haskell. It's such a well-organized and diverse site. We should have something like this for Clojure. DISCUSS

Running a Startup on Haskell


One of the early pioneers in practical Haskell programming, Bryan O'Sullivan developed a lot of tools and libraries that address the more pragmatic and business side of Haskell. This talk covers a lot of his experience. There are slidesDISCUSS

Escape from the Ivory Tower


Simon Peyton Jones talks about the history of Haskell. What's particularly important is his understanding of the pain of working with statically typed languages. There is a set of programs that you want to write but that the compiler doesn't understand. Haskell has, over its more than 20 year history, slowly chipped away at that set of programs, making the language more expressive while never compromising its core purity. The goal is to make that area so small that people will never want nor need to use a dynamically typed language. I welcome that time, though I think it is far away. DISCUSS

Faith, Evolution, and Programming Languages


An issue about Haskell would not be complete without a talk by Philip Wadler. This talk is hard to summarize, but what I like most about it is the explanation of the correspondences between strongly typed lambda calculus and logic. This is the kind of stuff that typed languages can get into. DISCUSS
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