Haskell Programming Language: What It Is and How To Use It

Scraping Robot
June 19, 2024

Haskell is a programming language noted for several key things: it is one of the oldest used languages and is a type of functional programming. Haskell is statically typed and not difficult to learn with a few basic elements.

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Haskell programming was developed in the late 1980s. This was one of the most prolific periods of new language and paradigm creations, and, initially, Haskell did not stand out. However, U.S. mathematician Haskell Brooks Curry developed this tool to be a purely functional programming language, which makes it unique. It would take nearly 10 years for the project to be completed.

What Is Programming in Haskell Like?

haskell programing language

Here are some quick details about Haskell programming to get you started:

  • It is a fully functional programming language.
  • It supports both lazy evaluation and type classes.
  • Haskell does take some understanding of how to code to get right.
  • You will need to write code and do so with precision to ensure outcomes.

With that in mind, take into consideration what Haskell programming is and how it works overall. This introduction to Haskell programming gets you to the start of the process. Haskell programming from first principles like these helps you to learn if Haskell could be a good choice for you.

Haskell Is a Functional Programming Language

There are numerous programming styles used today. This includes functional, imperative, and object-oriented. All have their fit, but Haskell is a purely functional programming language. That means the language treats functions as the most important, integral component of the program.

Functions are passed as values or data types. They can be passed as arguments to other functions as well. They can be returned as results from functions and it is possible to assign them to variables. In short, functional languages like Haskell promote code reuse within a single codebase.

Haskell supports each of these properties. Many other languages are tethered to the functional aspects as well, including Modern Java, C++, C#, and Go.

Though not everyone knows Haskell, there are benefits to learning it, including that it builds onto your knowledge of these other programming methods as well.

Haskell Is Statically Typed

statical type of haskell

As a statically typed language, the tagging occurs during the compilation. This is a common application among what is considered low-level languages.

By contrast, other languages, like JavaScript and Python, are dynamically typed. In these, the values are tagged to the data types during the execution instead.

With statically typed languages like Haskell, the programs are evaluated by a compiler, and they are compiled into a machine or bytecode before being run.

That means that Haskell programs must be type-checked prior to the compilation and the execution of the code. Haskell only does the type checking one time, which does help to improve performance overall, in comparison to other languages like Java that do so more than once.

You may hear that Haskell’s programming language is considered “strong.” That’s due to the low error risk associated with them. The error safety at compile time is good, which means that once it compiles, it will work.

Understanding the Haskell Ecosystem

As you learn more about Haskell programming jobs and tasks that you can take on with this technology, it is critical to have some basics about how the Haskell ecosystem works. As with any new language, this is a critical but more challenging area to learn.

Haskell is easy enough to install and set up. To do so, you will need the entire Haskell ecosystem, which is made up of several key components:

  • Glasgow Haskell Compiler (GHC): this is the compiler
  • Glasgow Haskell Interpreter (GHCi): This is the interpreter
  • The Stack Tool: This is a tool used to manage Haskell projects

You can also find other available Haskell packages. Once you decide to learn it, you can grab a programming in Haskell book or get started using this guide and download the software package you need at www.haskell.org.

Also important is that programming in Haskell requires access to the programming language’s database of libraries. This database is referred to as Hackage. It is robust and highly effective.

There are a few notes to consider about using Haskell as a starting point:

  • There is no code editor. However, you can use IntelliJ IDEA with the Haskell Plugin
  • Neovim
  • Visual Studio Code with the Haskell plugin
  • Emacs with the Haskell Mode selected

You also will need to select the environment download based on the system you are using. It can run on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.

Why Use Haskell Programming Language?

why we use haskell

Before getting into the Haskell programming from first principles on up, ask yourself why you want to learn this programming language. Haskell is a very modern and standard functional programming language. It’s noted as a non-strict language.

Most commonly used and specifically designed to handle a wide range of applications, it can be quite versatile (and beneficial) to learn. You can use it to develop numerical and symbolic applications.

Also notable, and one way this language stands out, is because it has an expressive syntax and a rich in-built architecture.

It works very well at coping with large-scale industrial production applications. Because it is written in mathematical functions, it can be easier to learn for some people but a bit more challenging to others.

Why should you consider learning Haskell? Aside from the benefits noted, it offers several benefits:

  • Its logic is easy to follow
  • It is easy to read Haskell code because it is much like the math expressions you used to know
  • You need to provide the probable output for the program, and then it will handle the rest
  • It has an exceptional compiler in terms of functionality
  • It also is self-documenting, which can improve functionality

You Can Use Haskell for Numerous Tasks

There are dozens of reasons to use Haskell computer programming language. Today, though, it is heavily used for two applications:

  • Web development: Wai is the Haskell package designed to manage HTTP requests and responses. Also note that Yesod is one of the most complete web framework options for this need. You can also use other packages, including the blaze-html package.
  • Cardano blockchain development: Also notable, you can use Haskel for Cardano blockchain platform development. It is written in Plutus, which is a Haskell-based programming language.

The Basics of Programming in Haskell

simple coding in haskell

While Haskell requires understanding a few basic elements, it can take some time to learn the entire process and all of the unique elements. We suggest getting a programming in Haskell book if you decide to learn more and develop your knowledge in this area.

Let’s get down to some of the best features associated with this system.

Breaking down GHCi

The compiler with Haskell allows you to interactively use it. That’s different from some other languages. It also allows for multi-line coding, which is also a unique feature. Unlike Python IDLE, for example, you do not have to write each line in complete code, step by step. You instead keep things rather simple!

Simple expressions with Haskell

With expressions, you can type a math expression into the GHCi, and you will get an answer. To do that, you will use the Prelude> GHCi prompt. Follow these tips:

  • Strings go in double quotes. If you wish to do so, you can concatenate them using ++.
  • Calling functions requires putting the arguments in directly after the function. You do not use parentheses in the call function.

Also, note that the console can be used to read from or write to the console. Some of the most common you will likely see include:

Prelude> putStrLn “Hello, Haskell”

  • Hello, Haskell
  • Prelude> putStr “No newline”
  • No newline
  • Prelude> print (5 + 4)
  • 9
  • Prelude> print (1 < 2)
  • True

Haskell and Web Scraping: What You Need to Knowweb scraping and haskell

Web scraping is the process of gathering data from websites using fast, efficient methods that help streamline the process. Capturing valuable data like this can be critical in tasks like price monitoring or watching for changes made by competitors. It’s critical to learn how data scraping works and how it can benefit the way you build your success.

With Scraping Robot, an API, you get a web scraping tool designed for laymen. It allows you to scrape with ease and for various needs. Web scraping in Haskell is an option, and Scraping Robot can make the job even easier for you to manage.

Scraping Robot makes it easy for you to collect data you can use. Learn more about Haskell computer programming and how Scraping Robot is the ideal tool for data collection utilizing this or other programming languages.

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