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A collection of various practical Haskell bits.


It happens to all of us.

Once in a while you stumble upon a problem that seems way too familiar. You remember that you've either solved it before or saw it in a blog post somewhere.

You start browsing through Reddit, old projects and bookmarks, searching aggressively for that single line of code or function that you just need to copy-paste or at least take a glimpse at to remember what it was about. It's just one "bit" that you need.

Practical Haskell Bits is an initiative to contain as many of these as possible and become the go-to place for real-world patterns, snippets and popular library examples.

Bits should be aimed towards everyone in the community, regardless of their level of experience or understanding.

No example is too trivial!

The Haskell community is often criticized for focusing on things that are way too complicated to outsiders (and frankly, most "intermediate" Haskellers as well) and pushing away beginners. This is true and in order to attract more people and have them become productive, we need to address it.

Not everyone can figure out how to use a library by reading the source code.

Some people will struggle with "basic" things such as parsing JSON or setting up a web server. It's exactly these people that will not have the confidence to ask a question because seemingly everyone is busy looking at examples of compiler optimizations changing asymptotic complexity.

What defines a Practical Haskell Bit?

A Practical Haskell Bit is a mini-project that:

  • Looks at a single, well-defined scenario
  • Is of production quality
  • Contains as little code and dependencies as possible
  • Is self-contained and buildable on its own
  • Reflects the current (or at least some) best practices
  • Is suitable for copy-pasting or just refreshing your memory
  • Has a sufficient, but not necessarily detailed explanation
  • Aims to use terminology and examples as close to the real world as possible

A Practical Haskell Bit is not:

  • [Necessarily] a detailed tutorial
  • An incomplete code snippet
  • A full blown project example (e.g.
  • A blog post that you need to follow to put the code together

Examples and non-examples:

Good Practical Haskell Bit candidates:

  • Streaming persistent queries using conduit
  • Integrating with an external API via servant-client
  • Making your wai app AWS Lambda compatible
  • Setting up your application monad and business logic with mtl
  • Protecting servant routes with a JWT token
  • Using smart constructors
  • Record update scenarios via lens
  • Logging to multiple destinations (e.g. file + stdout) via katip
  • Property testing with QuickCheck
  • etc.

One might argue that for examples using specific libraries, we should just focus on updating the documentation. I support that 100%, but there are multiple points of view.

Better documentation only helps only if you're already aware of the library in question.

It's easy to underestimate how many people haven't heard about QuickCheck, katip or even servant. Containing and organizing all examples in a single repository makes them "contagious". You come for 1 thing, but find out a few others.

Bad Practical Haskell Bit candidates:

  • A CRUD app
  • A console game
  • A snippet containing some part of a solution
  • A snippet without sufficient context
  • etc.


Contributions of any kind are welcome.


A collection of Practical Haskell bits.






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