Commit f84416dc authored by Matt Renaud's avatar Matt Renaud

Create "Getting started" tutorial.

[ci skip]
parent d4ebb699
Getting Started with Haskell and Cabal
Installing the Haskell toolchain
To install the Haskell toolchain follow the `ghcup instructions
<>`__ if you're using Linux or Mac, or follow
`this guide <>`__ if you're
using Windows.
Creating a new application
Let's start by creating a simple Haskell application from scratch where we'll
learn about a Haskell package's directory structure, how to run the executable,
and how to add external dependencies.
Initializing the application
Start by creating a ``myfirstapp`` directory to hold the project files, these
instructions work in unix shells and PowerShell (if you're on Windows).
.. code-block:: console
$ mkdir myfirstapp
$ cd myfirstapp
Once you have an empty directory we can initialize our package:
.. code-block:: console
$ cabal init --cabal-version=2.4 --license=NONE -p myfirstapp
This will generate the following files:
.. code-block:: console
$ ls
``Main.hs`` is where your package's code lives. By default ``cabal init``
creates an executable with the same name as the package ``myfirstapp`` in this
case, you can instruct ``cabal init`` to generate just a library (with
``--lib``) or both a library and executable with (``--libandexe``); for the full
set of options see ``cabal init --help``.
``myfirstapp.cabal`` is Cabal's metadata file which describes your package and
its dependencies. We'll be updating this file in a little bit when we add an
external dependency to our package.
Running the application
As mentioned above, ``cabal init`` with no arguments generates a package with a
single executable that prints ``"Hello, Haskell!"`` to the terminal. To run the
executable enter the following command:
``cabal run :myfirstapp``
You should see the following output in the terminal:
.. code-block:: console
$ cabal run :myfirstapp
Hello, Haskell!
.. note:: The ``:`` prefix in ``:myfirstapp`` signifies that the the
``myfirstapp`` target is part of the current package.
Notice that we didn't need to run a `build` command before ``cabal run``, this
is because ``cabal run`` first determines if the code needs to be re-built
before running the executable. If you just want to build a target you can do so
with ``cabal build``:
``cabal build :myfirstapp``
Adding dependencies
Next we'll add an external dependency to our application. `Hackage
<>`__ is the Haskell community's central `package`
archive of open source software.
In our application, we'll use a package called `haskell-say
<>`__ to print text to the
terminal with some embellishment.
.. TIP::
If you installed ``cabal`` a while ago but haven't used it recently you may
need to update the package index, you can do this by running ``cabal
In our ``myfirstapp.cabal`` file we'll update the ``build-depends`` attribute of
the ``executable myfirstapp`` section to include ``haskell-say``:
.. code-block:: cabal
executable myfirstapp
main-is: Main.hs
base >=4.11 && <4.12,
haskell-say ^>=
.. NOTE::
``^>=`` means use version of the library or any more recent
minor release with the same major version.
Next we'll update ``Main.hs`` to use the ``HaskellSay`` library:
.. code-block:: haskell
module Main where
import HaskellSay (haskellSay)
main :: IO ()
main =
haskellSay "Hello, Haskell! You're using a function from another package!"
``import HaskellSay (haskellSay)`` brings the ``haskellSay`` function from the
module named ``HaskellSay`` into scope. The ``HaskellSay`` module is defined in
the ``haskell-say`` packages that we added a dependency on above.
Now you can build and re-run your code to see the new output:
.. code-block:: console
$ cabal run
/ \
| Hello, Haskell! You're using a function from another |
| package! |
\____ _____________________________________________/
\ /
\ /
_____ _____
\ \ \ \
\ \ \ \
\ \ \ \
\ \ \ \ \-----------|
\ \ \ \ \ |
\ \ \ \ \---------|
/ / / \
/ / / \ \-------|
/ / / ^ \ \ |
/ / / / \ \ \ ----|
/ / / / \ \
/____/ /____/ \____\
What Next?
Now that you know how to set up a simple Haskell package using Cabal, check out
some of thee resources on the Haskell website's `documentation page
<>`__ or read more about packages and
Cabal on the `introduction <intro.html>`__ page.
......@@ -6,6 +6,7 @@ Welcome to the Cabal User Guide
:maxdepth: 2
Markdown is supported
0% or .
You are about to add 0 people to the discussion. Proceed with caution.
Finish editing this message first!
Please register or to comment