Author: Bryan O'Sullivan, John Goerzen & Don Stewart
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2008
Aimed at: Developers with some familiarity with Haskell
Pros: Demonstrates practical uses for Haskell
Cons: Insufficient detail of Haskell basics
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot
Haskell is a functional programming language with an academic feel. It is mostly used in courses that aim to explain the ideas of functional programming.
This particular book is an attempt, and not a bad one, to demonstrate that Haskell is a practical language. It starts off with a sketch of the language and for me this is the least effective part of the book. It just doesn't go into enough detail, nor is it a logical presentation of the language. As a result if you don't already know Haskell you run the risk of simply becoming confused.
The book tends to introduce ideas without really motivating them and if you aren't a convert it isn't going to succeed in converting you. It's best described as a second level book in that, if you know the theory, it shows you the practice. I especially liked the introduction of monads and the project on creating a bar code reader using a mobile phone camera.
At the end of the day (book) you can't help but ask the question of whether or not Haskell makes anything significantly easier. Read the book and come to your own conclusion.