Sequencing Actions

Sometimes, we want to perform a sequence of actions one after the other. This can be easily done using the do notation in Haskell, which is used to create one composite action from two or more individual actions in the do block. The general structure of the do notation is the following:

do value1 <- action1
   value2 <- action2
   return (value1, value2...)

We can read it as "perform action1 that will generate the value value1, then perform the next action action2 to generate the value value2 and so on. In the end, return the tuple of generated values as a type IO". The return function is just another action in the sequence (remember that return is a function by itself but when applied to an argument it returns an action). That means that we do not have to use return at the end of the do block.

We also do not have to use the generator arrow if we do not intend to use the result value from a particular action. For example, to write a simple "Hello World" program using do notation, we can use the putStrLn function, which prints a string to the screen and a new line character at the end of it:

hello :: IO ()
hello = do
  putStrLn "Hello"
  putStrLn "World!"

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