Proposal for a first tutorial.

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Proposal for a first tutorial.

Daniel Carrera-2
Hello,

I've almost finished my proposal for a very first Haskell tutorial. I
notice that the Wiki is restricted. How can I upload it to show it to
you? Can I send it to the list as an attachment? (it's only 4k).

Cheers,
Daniel.
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Re: Proposal for a first tutorial.

Cale Gibbard
Hi,

We had to make the wiki not editable to users not logged in, due to
excessive spam. If you create a user account, you can edit freely.
(Click the UserPreferences link in the upper right.)

cheers,
 - Cale

On 20/12/05, Daniel Carrera <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello,
>
> I've almost finished my proposal for a very first Haskell tutorial. I
> notice that the Wiki is restricted. How can I upload it to show it to
> you? Can I send it to the list as an attachment? (it's only 4k).
>
> Cheers,
> Daniel.
> --
>       /\/`) http://oooauthors.org
>      /\/_/  http://opendocumentfellowship.org
>     /\/_/
>     \/_/    I am not over-weight, I am under-tall.
>     /
> _______________________________________________
> Haskell-Cafe mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
>
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Re: Proposal for a first tutorial.

Hal Daume III-2
In reply to this post by Daniel Carrera-2
> I've almost finished my proposal for a very first Haskell tutorial. I
> notice that the Wiki is restricted. How can I upload it to show it to
> you? Can I send it to the list as an attachment? (it's only 4k).

Hi Daniel, all --

I've been tracking about 80% of this thread.

Daniel -- can you tell me what was missing from YAHT that wasn't
sufficient for starting to use Haskell?  It was really intended to solve
these problems, at least partially, so if it's missing out, I'd like to
fix it!

 - Hal

--
 Hal Daume III                                   | [hidden email]
 "Arrest this man, he talks in maths."           | www.isi.edu/~hdaume

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Re: Proposal for a first tutorial.

Daniel Carrera-2
Hal Daume III wrote:
> Daniel -- can you tell me what was missing from YAHT that wasn't
> sufficient for starting to use Haskell?  It was really intended to solve
> these problems, at least partially, so if it's missing out, I'd like to
> fix it!

I haven't read it. I refuse to give out personal information to read a
tutorial.

Cheers,
Daniel.
--
      /\/`) http://oooauthors.org
     /\/_/  http://opendocumentfellowship.org
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RE: Proposal for a first tutorial.

Bayley, Alistair
In reply to this post by Daniel Carrera-2
> From: [hidden email]
> [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Daniel Carrera
>
> Hal Daume III wrote:
> > Daniel -- can you tell me what was missing from YAHT that wasn't
> > sufficient for starting to use Haskell?  It was really
> intended to solve
> > these problems, at least partially, so if it's missing out,
> I'd like to
> > fix it!
>
> I haven't read it. I refuse to give out personal information
> to read a
> tutorial.

>From this page
  http://haskell.org/hawiki/LearningHaskell

there's a link to the tutorial
  http://www.isi.edu/~hdaume/htut/tutorial.pdf

which seems to make no informational demands.

Alistair
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Re: Proposal for a first tutorial.

Daniel Carrera-2
Bayley, Alistair wrote:
>>From this page
>   http://haskell.org/hawiki/LearningHaskell
>
> there's a link to the tutorial
>   http://www.isi.edu/~hdaume/htut/tutorial.pdf
>
> which seems to make no informational demands.

I suggest updating this page:

http://www.haskell.org/learning.html

To point to that file.

Cheers,
Daniel.
--
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     /\/_/  http://opendocumentfellowship.org
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Re: Proposal for a first tutorial.

Hal Daume III-2
In reply to this post by Daniel Carrera-2
> > Daniel -- can you tell me what was missing from YAHT that wasn't
> > sufficient for starting to use Haskell?  It was really intended to solve
> > these problems, at least partially, so if it's missing out, I'd like to
> > fix it!
>
> I haven't read it. I refuse to give out personal information to read a
> tutorial.

I don't mean to be obnoxious, but given:

> This is a real problem for Haskell. I expect that a lot of people try
> Haskell and give up because they can't even write the simplest function.

and

> Thank you. I did find that page, and it was very easy to find. The
> problem is that the content of that page, and its links, didn't show me
> how to write a Haskell program (like you did).

and

> Well, I tried all three (Hugs, GHCI, GHC). The problem is that the
> tutorials I found didn't tell me how to run a Haskell program once it
> was written.

and

> Any of the following would be an apt solution:
>
> 1) Update the tutorials linked to tell the user how to run a program.

and

> You see, as a site visitor, I have to assume that the tutorials you are
> giving me are the ones you expect I should read.

and

> There's no way for a new user to figure out how to successfully run
> the simplest Haskell program.

and

> I just Googled for "Introduction to C". The first link was:
>    http://www.le.ac.uk/cc/tutorials/c/
> It includes a brief section on both MS Visual C++ and the Unix CC.

The fifth link for "Haskell Tutorial" is the pdf version of YAHT.

and

> I do suggest that the "Learning Haskell" page could be improved with a
> brief (couple of paragraph) tutorial to get someone through Hello world.
> Or perhaps update the tutorials to say that.

<rant>

(Please feel free to skip down to </rant>)

It seems a bit unfair to say that there are no good ways of learning
information about Haskell.  Yes, I'm shamelessly plugging my own tutorial,
but that's because I think it's pretty good.  It also answers all of the
questions you've posted to the list, I believe.  These sorts of questions
come up *all the time*.  A quick perusal of the mailing list archives will
show that.  This is part of the whole motivation for putting YAHT
together: so all the nice Haskell people who do spend their time answering
these questions repeatedly don't have to!

So basically what you're saying is: someone who wants to learn Haskell but
doesn't want to fill out a 10 second form can't find the information to do
so.  There's no requirement that the form be filled out correctly -- you
can enter whatever invalid information you want.  Also, as you can see
above, just searching for "Haskell Tutorial" will turn you up with a PDF
version freely.  If you spend another 30 seconds, you can find a version
translated into Portuguese or Chinese, if you prefer that.

I know your argument was that you should *have* to do that work, but it is
*your* choice not to fill out a silly little form that means nothing, and
if you don't want to do that, then you can find another way.  The tutorial
is mirrored like 100 times and it's not hard to find one of those.  The
amount of effort to find a non-formed version is <<<<< than the effort to
send lots of emails to the mailing list asking questions answered in the
first chapter.

</rant>

But, yes, here's the solution:

  haskell.org people, please just link to the .pdf

I think this solution should please everyone.

 - Hal

p.s., I apologize for the rant.  Although I don't spend my time mailing on
this list recently, I still read it regularly and have updated YAHT
several times in the past year to improve it via user comments.  And
everyone here has always been really friendly to me and other beginners,
which is one of the many reasons why I like Haskell so much.  I just felt
that the above quoted lines (among others) were a misrepresentation of the
situation, and given that I put a non-trivial amount of effort into making
the situation better, I got somewhat annoyed.

--
 Hal Daume III                                   | [hidden email]
 "Arrest this man, he talks in maths."           | www.isi.edu/~hdaume


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Re: Proposal for a first tutorial.

Paul Moore-2
On 12/20/05, Hal Daume III <[hidden email]> wrote:
> It seems a bit unfair to say that there are no good ways of learning
> information about Haskell.  Yes, I'm shamelessly plugging my own tutorial,
> but that's because I think it's pretty good.

I agree, it is. I read it and found it a great help when I was learning.

> But, yes, here's the solution:
>
>  haskell.org people, please just link to the .pdf
>
> I think this solution should please everyone.

You're probably right.

(BTW, the link is currently broken - there may have been a typo made
when the change was being made...)

> p.s., I apologize for the rant.

No problem. Sadly, there's so much email harvesting and the like on
the internet these days, that no matter how innocent, a "please give
your email address" form attracts a disproportionate amount of
suspicion. But ironically, I can't quite convince myself that lying
about my email address is acceptable, even so :-)

Paul
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Re: Proposal for a first tutorial.

John Meacham
In reply to this post by Hal Daume III-2
On Tue, Dec 20, 2005 at 06:54:27AM -0800, Hal Daume III wrote:
> So basically what you're saying is: someone who wants to learn Haskell but
> doesn't want to fill out a 10 second form can't find the information to do
> so.  There's no requirement that the form be filled out correctly -- you
> can enter whatever invalid information you want.

Even though I know this to be true, whenever I encounter a form like
this on the web I just immediatly press 'back' unless I am specifically
looking for what I know is behind it. It is not for any particular
ideological reasons, it is just my default action and I think it is for
many other people too. In particular, I would immediatly just go to the
next tutorial on the list when presented with such a page. I can't
really defend it with any particular reasoning, I am just saying it how
it is.

        John


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Re: Proposal for a first tutorial.

Hal Daume III-2
> Even though I know this to be true, whenever I encounter a form like
> this on the web I just immediatly press 'back' unless I am specifically
> looking for what I know is behind it. It is not for any particular
> ideological reasons, it is just my default action and I think it is for
> many other people too. In particular, I would immediatly just go to the
> next tutorial on the list when presented with such a page. I can't
> really defend it with any particular reasoning, I am just saying it how
> it is.

Fair enough.  The silly form has disappeared :).

Incidentally, the version on the web site now is a recent (few weeks old)
revision.  I think it should have fixed all the problems people have sent
in over the last year (thanks!) and most (but not all) of the stupid
spelling errors, etc.

--
 Hal Daume III                                   | [hidden email]
 "Arrest this man, he talks in maths."           | www.isi.edu/~hdaume

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Re: Proposal for a first tutorial.

Daniel Carrera-2
In reply to this post by John Meacham
John Meacham wrote:
> Even though I know this to be true, whenever I encounter a form like
> this on the web I just immediatly press 'back' unless I am specifically
> looking for what I know is behind it. It is not for any particular
> ideological reasons, it is just my default action and I think it is for
> many other people too. In particular, I would immediatly just go to the
> next tutorial on the list when presented with such a page. I can't
> really defend it with any particular reasoning, I am just saying it how
> it is.

At a minimum, there are usability reasons why the vast majority of
people will tend to do that exactly. I don't have the reference on me
right now, but I read this in a usability book called "Don't make me
Think" :) It's very good.

The case becomes even stronger when the particular form is asking you
for something you might consider personal information. My first reaction
is that it's none of their business and makes me want to go elsewhere.

Cheers,
Daniel.
--
      /\/`) http://oooauthors.org
     /\/_/  http://opendocumentfellowship.org
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Re: Proposal for a first tutorial.

Daniel Carrera-2
In reply to this post by Hal Daume III-2
Hal Daume III wrote:
> Fair enough.  The silly form has disappeared :).

You can just make the form optional. Something like this:

---//---
<link>Here's a link to my tutorial</link>

Also, I love hearing about who is using this tutorial. Please consider
filling out this form.
---//---

You get the idea.

Cheers,
Daniel.
--
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Re: Proposal for a first tutorial.

John Meacham
In reply to this post by Hal Daume III-2
On Tue, Dec 20, 2005 at 03:38:17PM -0800, Hal Daume III wrote:
> Incidentally, the version on the web site now is a recent (few weeks old)
> revision.  I think it should have fixed all the problems people have sent
> in over the last year (thanks!) and most (but not all) of the stupid
> spelling errors, etc.

Yeah, I had not seen that tutorial before, it looks very good.

I am not sure what you are using to format it, but it seems to have no
problems with breaking up code blocks randomly between pages which is
quite anoying. I don't know how easy that would be to convince whatever
you use not to do. LaTeX maybe? hmm..

        John

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