What is Haskell?
Haskell is a standardized, general-purpose, purely functional programming language with declarative and strong static typing.
Haskell has deep roots in mathematics, and you will soon learn to appreciate the implications of it.
Why learn Haskell?
- If you’ve never used a functional programming language, the only gain in learning Haskell would be to expand your mind and broaden your thinking scope.
- Functional langauges tend to more terse.
- Functional languages encourage quick prototyping.
- If you’ve ever tried using mutithreading before, functional languages allow for safe multithreading.
- As far as Haskell is concerned:
- The syntax is clear,concise and intuitive with inspiration from mathematical notation.
- List Comprehension is another great feature.
- It allows you to create Lambda expressions which allows for better handling of more complex formulae.
- Lazy evaluation: If something causes an error, it won’t pop up unless you use the result. This can be both good and bad.
- You can basically create anything that you could normally create with any general-purpose language.
In a nutshell, you’d do so to expand your thinking ability(isn’t that what everyone strives for?).
Currently the latest version of GHC is 8.6 (as of 12 Oct 2018)
The recommended way to install Haskell is by using stack : stack download
Stack is a cross-platform program for developing Haskell projects. It is aimed at Haskellers both new and experienced.
To actually start using Haskell you need the GHC (The Glasgow Haskell Compiler), so to setup : stack setup
stack new my-project cd my-project stack setup stack build stack exec my-project-exe
A word of cautious, try not to use stack install even though it will install package globally, this is not recommended as different versions of packages are compatible with different versions of GHC. Hence using local copy of package using stack build is best way to follow.
Structure of a Haskell Function
A Haskell function declaration has a name and type identifiers
name :: type name = expression
For example, this function squares an Integer
square :: Integer -> Integer square n = n * n
The last type value is the return value, in the case above it takes a single integer and returns a single integer.
main :: IO () main = print "Hello Haskell :)"
Save the code above in a file named “hello.hs”.
You can use ghc to convert our haskell code to machine understandable bytecodes.
stack ghc hello.hs ./hello
Alternatively, you can use
runhaskell to skip the compiling step.
stack runhaskell hello.hs
Hackage provides documentation for Haskell