CHAPTER 5

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Laziness and Infinite Structures

In previous chapters I introduced several of the pillars of Haskell programming: the pure functional paradigm and the strongly typed nature of the language, which nevertheless allows powerful type constructs such as parametric polymorphism and type classes. This chapter will be devoted to understanding the unique evaluation model of Haskell, based on laziness, and the consequences of that choice.

In short, lazy evaluation means that only the necessary parts of an expression are computed, and this is done at the last possible moment. For example, if you have an expression such as head [2+3, 5*7], the ...

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