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Introduction to programming,
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Introduction Functional Programming (Prentice Hall Series in Computer Science) (Taschenbuch)
In recent years functional programming has made it from the nooks of academia into mainstream computing. Well, not quite. The lingo has arrived, and modern scripting languages such as Groovy, Ruby or Python make heavy use of functional constructs. But truly functional languages are as yet at the outskirts of pragmatic or industrial programming. But they are there: Scala is talked of in the Java world, and F# may soon be making more acolytes in the .Net world (and both these languages owe a lot to Haskell).
The present book is a well written introduction to functional programming using Haskell. It is aimed at undergraduate students taking university courses in computer science. Thus the book pursues a twofold purpose: It both introduces Haskell as a language and it demonstrates essential programming constructs such as lists and trees and algorithms operating on such structures. Examples tend to be formal, and applications of Haskell to real-world programming challenges are not even mentioned. The very strong side of the book is its measured and precise explanation of the fundamental programming constructs of Haskell (chiefly the rather difficult notion of a monad which is the Haskell way of introducing interaction in a functional setting). Its lack of examples from real-world applications makes the style and content of the book at times rather sterile. It is a useful companion to a lecture on programming (and as such it is highly recommended), but for somebody with a good background in computer science and experience with real-life IT the book may seem off the practical mark at times. For those much better literature is available by now, see for instance Real World Haskell. The exercises, by the way, tend to rather easy and are mostly aimed at the beginner in programming.
I place much hope in functional programming as a paradigm for writing code in the future. But the way into a functional language is rather steep and requires more of a mathematical mind than any of the other major players on the market (Cobol was easy for anybody with a sufficiently neat mind, Object Orientation took a long while to take on, and I guess that functional programming will have an even harder time). But there is no denying that with the growing complexity of the things we want to do in IT our tools will have to match that complexity. So if you are a student today, here is a book to help you get into the ways of the future.