Getting Started with Haskell

Here’s a short tutorial to get you started with Haskell:

Installing Haskell

To get started with Haskell, you’ll need to install the Haskell Platform, which is a collection of tools and libraries that you’ll use to develop Haskell programs. You can download the platform from the official website (, and installation instructions are provided for different operating systems.

Writing Your First Program

Once you have Haskell installed, you can start writing your first program. The traditional first program in Haskell is a “Hello, world!” program, which simply prints the message “Hello, world!” to the console. Here’s how you can write this program in Haskell:

haskellCopy code-- hello.hs
main :: IO ()
main = putStrLn "Hello, world!"

Save this code in a file called hello.hs, and then compile and run the program by running the following commands in your terminal:

shellCopy code$ ghc hello.hs
$ ./hello
Hello, world!

Basic Syntax

Haskell has a unique syntax that may take some getting used to if you’re coming from other programming languages. Here are some basic concepts to get you started:

  • Haskell is a functional programming language, which means that functions are the primary means of computation. A function is defined using the funcName arg1 arg2 = expr syntax.
  • Haskell is statically typed, which means that you must declare the types of your variables and functions. For example, x :: Int declares a variable x of type Int.
  • Haskell has a number of built-in data types, such as Int, Double, Bool, and Char. You can also define your own data types using the data keyword.
  • Haskell has a powerful type inference system that can often deduce the types of your expressions without you having to explicitly declare them.

Working with Lists

One of the most common data structures in Haskell is the list. Lists are defined using square brackets, and can contain elements of any type. Here are some common operations you can perform on lists:

  • [] creates an empty list.
  • [1, 2, 3] creates a list containing the elements 1, 2, and 3.
  • x:xs creates a new list by adding the element x to the beginning of the list xs.
  • xs ++ ys concatenates two lists together.
  • head xs returns the first element of the list xs.
  • tail xs returns the list xs with the first element removed.
  • length xs returns the length of the list xs.


This tutorial has only scratched the surface of what you can do with Haskell, but it should be enough to get you started. Haskell can be a challenging language to learn, but it offers a unique set of features that can lead to more expressive, maintainable, and robust code. If you’re interested in learning more about Haskell, there are many excellent resources available online, including books, tutorials, and documentation.

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