… there are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult.
Tony Hoare, 1980 ACM Turing Award Lecture
This book is about an approach to programming in which simplicity, clarity, and elegance are the key goals. More specifically, it is an introduction to the functional style of programming, using the language Haskell.
The functional style is quite different to that promoted by most current languages, such as Java, C++, C, and Visual Basic. In particular, most current languages are closely linked to the underlying hardware, in the sense that programming is based upon the idea of changing stored values. In contrast, Haskell promotes a more abstract style of programming, based upon the idea of applying functions to arguments. As we shall see, moving to this higher-level leads to considerably simpler programs, and supports a number of powerful new ways to structure and reason about programs.
The book is primarily aimed at students studying computing science at university level, but is also appropriate for a broader spectrum of readers who would like to learn about programming in Haskell. No previous programming experience is required or assumed, and all the concepts are explained from first principles, with the aid of carefully chosen examples.