exercism fetch haskell isbn-verifier

Isbn Verifier

Check if a given ISBN-10 is valid.


Given an unknown string the program should check if the provided string is a valid ISBN-10. Putting this into place requires some thinking about preprocessing/parsing of the string prior to calculating the check digit for the ISBN.

The program should allow for ISBN-10 without the separating dashes to be verified as well.


Let's take a random ISBN-10 number, say 3-598-21508-8 for this. The first digit block indicates the group where the ISBN belongs. Groups can consist of shared languages, geographic regions or countries. The leading '3' signals this ISBN is from a german speaking country. The following number block is to identify the publisher. Since this is a three digit publisher number there is a 5 digit title number for this book. The last digit in the ISBN is the check digit which is used to detect read errors.

The first 9 digits in the ISBN have to be between 0 and 9. The check digit can additionally be an 'X' to allow 10 to be a valid check digit as well.

A valid ISBN-10 is calculated with this formula (x1 * 10 + x2 * 9 + x3 * 8 + x4 * 7 + x5 * 6 + x6 * 5 + x7 * 4 + x8 * 3 + x9 * 2 + x10 * 1) mod 11 == 0 So for our example ISBN this means: (3 * 10 + 5 * 9 + 9 * 8 + 8 * 7 + 2 * 6 + 1 * 5 + 5 * 4 + 0 * 3 + 8 * 2 + 8 * 1) mod 11 = 0

Which proves that the ISBN is valid.


Converting from string to number can be tricky in certain languages. It's getting even trickier since the check-digit of an ISBN-10 can be 'X'.

Bonus tasks

Getting Started

For installation and learning resources, refer to the exercism help page.

Running the tests

To run the test suite, execute the following command:

stack test

If you get an error message like this...

No .cabal file found in directory

You are probably running an old stack version and need to upgrade it.

Otherwise, if you get an error message like this...

No compiler found, expected minor version match with...
Try running "stack setup" to install the correct GHC...

Just do as it says and it will download and install the correct compiler version:

stack setup

Running GHCi

If you want to play with your solution in GHCi, just run the command:

stack ghci

Feedback, Issues, Pull Requests

The exercism/haskell repository on GitHub is the home for all of the Haskell exercises.

If you have feedback about an exercise, or want to help implementing a new one, head over there and create an issue. We'll do our best to help you!


Converting a string into a number and some basic processing utilizing a relatable real world example. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Book_Number#ISBN-10_check_digit_calculation

Submitting Incomplete Solutions

It's possible to submit an incomplete solution so you can see how others have completed the exercise.