Lambda the Ultimate

inactiveTopic Structure & Interpretation of Computer Programs
started 11/3/2000; 1:38:02 PM - last post 11/6/2000; 9:25:56 AM
Chris Rathman - Structure & Interpretation of Computer Programs  blueArrow
11/3/2000; 1:38:02 PM (reads: 446, responses: 3)
Structure & Interpretation of Computer Programs
This is probably old news for everyone else, but I've been eyeing this book for a while and finally purchased it last night. Wish it weren't so pricey ($65) but I have been meaning to delve into Scheme and this seems a nice way to learn the language (as well as general programming concepts).

Interestingly, the SICP home site only has the first chapter on-line, but the entire book is available at another url (though I don't know if that is intentional). Also ran across an older book review at Slashdot from a familiar name.
Posted to "" by Chris Rathman on 11/3/00; 1:39:27 PM

Ehud Lamm - Re: Structure & Interpretation of Computer Programs  blueArrow
11/4/2000; 3:37:56 AM (reads: 432, responses: 0)
If you are going to delve into Scheme, I suggest you (and others!) check these links too: The Joys of Scheme Talk and the Teach Youself Scheme in Fixnum Days tutorial.

Both cover such motivating things as amb and engines.

Cool stuff!

I started working on material for an EOPL based course. This is in Hebrew. If anyone who knows both Scheme and Hebrew, wants to help me by reviewing what I write - please get in touch!

andrew cooke - Re: Structure & Interpretation of Computer Programs  blueArrow
11/5/2000; 11:59:49 AM (reads: 444, responses: 1)
A similar book is The Functional Approach to Programming (Cousineau and Mauny). It's translated from French and uses ML (Caml) rather than Scheme. The translation isn't that good (I doubt it was translated by an English speaker), but - being both french and dealing with a statically typed language - the treatment is more rigorous.

I didn't enjoy it as much as SICP when I first read it, but I just took it with me on a long weekend to London to read in the bus and now that I understand a bit more (reading it a second time about a year later) I'm impressed (although still don't understand everything). It does a good job of illustrating how types can help you program - exploiting the type system seems to lead to more clearer, more concise code.

(Am I right in capitalizing names of languages, but not adjectives describing nationality? - apologies if I have incorrectly lower-cased the French! :-)

Chris Rathman - Re: Structure & Interpretation of Computer Programs  blueArrow
11/6/2000; 9:25:56 AM (reads: 480, responses: 0)
I'm trying to work my way through SICP, so it may be a while before I tackle another book (much less another functional language). :-)

I do notice that you really need to work the problems in the SICP book to get much out of it. Being an academic course, that's only natural, I suppose. But it does slow down the reading rate.

As for Scheme vs. ML, I am a bit undecided as to which works best in teaching concepts. Since I'm reviewing the recursion stuff at the moment, I can say that the ability in ML (& Haskell) to use guards, as well as function overloading on parameters, makes recursion a bit easier to write (as well as read).