I recently learned Elixir and Phoenix because I wanted to do functional programming on the server and made a pet project with it. It was a good experience, but I still find myself missing the strict compiler guarantees of Elm. I tried the Elixir Dialyzer for typings. It's good, but it is not as bullet proof as Elm and Haskell types.
I will possibly continue writing my apps in Elixir, but I would like to compare it with the Haskell Experience before I decide my favorite backend language.
By the way, I am eagerly following Gleam, a statically typed functional language that compiles to Erlang. If you find it as interesting as I do, you could sponsor it on Github to give the author time to develop it.
I am one of those programmers who starting learning Haskell a couple of times and failed.
Haskell feels intimidating, but I don't beliveve it really is that hard.
I think the main reason I flee from it is that none of the learning resources captivate me.
Making tic tac toe in the REPL is probably fun if you have all the free time in the world, but I want to make real applications, and I want to become productive as soon as possible.
Some Haskell guides even do lots of examples with advanced non-practical math stuff. I just don't care about doing math exercises with Haskell. I think many web developers can relate.
With Elixir there are so many awesome resources teaching you how to build complex web services that are directly transferable to real-life projects.
Inspired by the new "Haskell on Rails"
I was actively looking for a good opinionated "batteries included" web framework for Haskell before learning Elixir/Phoenix with no luck.
As soon as I was productive in Phoenix, I stumbled upon Integrated Haskell Platform (IHP). IHP is a newly released opinionated MVC Web Framework similar to Phoenix and Ruby on Rails. It has even been battle tested professionally for a couple of years before it was released to the public.
I had a great time going through the IHP tutorial, and it re-sparked my interest for Haskell. The tutorial guides you through making a working blog with comments quite easily.
Inspired by the project, I bought myself a new Haskell book. I think I already regret that buy 😄 It looks just as uninspiring as every other guide (no real web applications), but I might give it a try.
I will probably mainly use IHP for this Haskell challenge to make more or less useful web stuff.
One hour of Haskell a day
I believe continuity is the key to learning difficult things.
Fear of public humiliation is also a good motivator, and therefore I make a public commitment to write Haskell code every day for 100 days and tweet about it.
I had great success with my #100DaysOfCode challenge two years ago. I skilled fast and landed my current job shortly after. This contributed to cementing my strong passion for programming. Haskell seems like a perfect excuse to challenge myself again.
Some tracks I might pursue are:
- A basic Todo app in IHP. Boring, but good for doing the basics
- Rewriting the backend of my pet project app, Dill, currently written with Hasura/NodeJS. I have actually rewritten 95% of it in Elixir/Phoenix (but not yet replaced the current tech). I am taking my time to make it the way I want, so I might rewrite it again in Haskell.
- Practicing language basics when needed
Feel free to follow me on Twitter if you are interested in my Haskell journey 😊