Misc Books

Lisp Books online

(via lemonodor)

A collection of links to Lisp books available online.

The Reasoned Schemer

Guess what I stumbled across at my local bookstore?

Previously mentioned on LtU, and now available... When the book was announced, Ehud said:

Authored by two of my favorites, Dan Friedman and Oleg, I have such high expectations, that however great the book is going to be, I am sure to be disappointed...

After working through the first five chapters (and sneaking a look at the implementation at the end), I'm pleased to announce that no one is likely to be disappointed... It's a real tour de force.

As expected, the focus this time is logic programming, in the form of a new set of primitives elegantly implemented around a backtracking monad in Scheme. Of course the format is familiar and comfortable, and of course it's charmingly illustrated by Duane Bibby.

So, get your copy today, and congratulations to the authors on a job well done!

Concrete Abstractions on the web

From a comp.lang.scheme announcement (full text quoted below):

I'm happy to report that my publisher has agreed to make Concrete Abstractions available on the web for free, while continuing to sell the printed and bound edition. My co-authors and I hope this will allow a broader segment of the international community of schemers to take advantage of our work.

For those unfamiliar with it, I'm referring to "Concrete Abstractions: An Introduction to Computer Science Using Scheme," by Max Hailperin, Barbara Kaiser, and Karl Knight.

Follow the PDF files link from the main book page,

-Max Hailperin
Professor of Computer Science
Chair, Mathematics and Computer Science
Gustavus Adolphus College
800 W. College Ave.
St. Peter, MN 56082

An interview with Chris Date

In this Interview, Date discusses his new book, Database in Depth: Relational Theory for Practitioners. The book does look interesting and is on my list to be acquired at some point in the future. The Third Manifesto crowd can be a bit bellicose at times (at least for my tastes), but I can't say that I disagree with many of their assessments.

The underlying model (relational in this case) is of interest but more importantly is the manner in which it manifests itself within the language chosen for communication. SQL has some advantages as a language that I think extend beyond the realm of being ubiquitous. It primarily serves as a bridge between the programming languages that we choose, and the databases that we are stuck with. One could naturally ask the question of why have a seperate language in the first place (Object Databases tend to go this route)? And why do we need either SQL or D, when we have much more universal programming languages available at our disposal? If one surmizes that a database language is needed but that it should somehow be crippled in expressiveness (e.g. not turing complete, not imperative, not....), then one is forced to answer the question of where to draw the line.

That said, what I am currently wondering is if there is an implementation of the D language besides Dataphor? I guess I'm spoiled by the myriad of unencumbered programming languages that are being actively developed and I sometimes think that there is a cultural divide between those who implement programming languages and those that work with languages in the database market. Perhaps what we need is for an unassuming brilliance to appear out of seemingly nowhere and surprise us with an implementation of the language in Haskell or Scheme. Any more Autrijus' out there? :-)

A Theory of Distributed Objects

A Theory of Distributed Objects - Asynchrony - Mobility - Groups -Components. Denis Caromel and Ludovic Henrio.

Distributed and communicating objects are becoming ubiquitous. In Grid and Peer-to-Peer environments, extensive use is made of objects. This book provides a general theory for distributed objects interacting asynchronously, for the sake of efficiency and scalability. Further, it copes with advanced issues such as mobility, groups, and components.

Pi-Calculus, Join-Calculus and more...

Check out the sample chapter to get a feeling of the writing style.

Book stats

Tim O'Reilly posts a trend graph showing programming language books market share from January 2003 to mid-June 2005.

As LtU readers know, I don't really care about language popularity metrics. They don't tell you much that isn't obvious.

But at least this graph is supposed to reflect real data...

Dominus talks about HO Perl

Via Xavier Noria, an interview with Mark Jason Dominus in the Perl review, mostly about Higher-Order Perl [2].

Don't get too overheated...

Postscript: Add your links to this subnode.

Book: The Standard ML Basis Library

SML is conservative by nature, erring on the side of rigor. The Basis Library has been a long time in the making, so I guess it's not surprising that it didn't raise much fanfare with the publication of The Standard ML Basis Library by Gansner & Reppy last year. In slowly plodding my way thru CTM in Alice-ML, figured it couldn't hurt to acquire the book.

Other than about 100 pages, the book is a hard copy of the manual pages which are available online. (To put a positive spin on the matter, we should probably be happy that their arduous work is freely available). I do prefer a hard copy reference, especially for a subject that is not likely to be outdated anytime soon. The book provides some additional background info and example usage here and there, but it doesn't have a strong narrative - meandering thru what was probably a number of decision points along the way. Been helpful in spots - but then I'm still trying to grok the language as a whole.


Very relevant to the discussion in Journals and papers: Google has started a library of scanned, out-of-print books found in university libraries.

Via Greg Restall and slashdot.

Commentary on Standard ML

Under the category of "what I'm up to", found the book by Milner and Tofte at the used bookstore over the weekend. On chapter 8 at the moment. I see that the Commentary book is online for those who haven't read it yet (last published in 1991, it's out of print).

This book is the companion to the Definition of Standard ML, which defines SML in mathematical terms. The Commentary is a bit more approachable, but I must admit that I probably could use a "Commentary on the Commentary on Standard ML", to make the Commentary digestable. But then the two books are aimed at implementors of the language. Still, I managed to pick up some useful information on ML here and there.

XML feed