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Let Over Lambda Paperback – April 2, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
There are plenty of "wow, that is cool" moments and useful constructs demonstrated, that will probably make it into the reader's toolkit. But of greater importance is the progression in how these are delivered. While not a broad tutorial in Common Lisp (although the reader-macro chapter could serve fairly well in that capacity), Let over Lambda contains an underlying tutorial on the incremental/iterative development of such macros/tools against desired requirements - building up to constructs via interim revisions and explanations.
A book involving Lisp has little choice but to stand on the shoulders of giants, and by necessity these are frequently referenced and cited. The most important of these is Graham's "On Lisp" (currently available for free download) - which, while attempting to cover the breadth of the language, is regarded as one of the more advanced texts on macros. Some topics introduced in On Lisp (such as the leveraging of unhygienic macros) are taken much further in Let over Lambda, and combined with other constructs (such as capture/closures) that would have to be described separately in more general purpose tutorial or language overview.
The writing style definitely includes an "attitude" that is partially inherent to the material being discussed and partially from the author's obvious passion (a passion that becomes REALLY obvious in the Forth chapter).Read more ›
By far, my favorite section of the book is in Chapter 6, on pandoric macros. I was immediately able to apply 'plambda' and 'with-pandoric' to my own code as soon as I saw them. Such a wonderful abstraction.
Doug Hoyte, you've turned me into a lisp lifer. Thanks!
The opinion-to-fact ratio makes the book a very hard read, though. The usual arrogance towards different language and paradigms (please forget that section on Functional Programming) is somewhat expected but makes it really hard to enjoy the text.
Even though Hoyte's blind evangelism of Common Lisp is extremely annoying, he is a great hacker and knows how to reuse other people's work --even if originally written in one of the Lisps he despises.
If you are fairly new to Lisp in general and Common Lisp in particular I don't think you will find it very interesting. Even if you write code in Clojure -the Lisp most people I know are exposed to these days- I would recommend that you read the fantastic Practical Common Lisp, by Peter Seibel, before trying this one.
What I love most about this book is how it teaches you to think of macros as nothing but functions that return lists. The fact that these lists happen to contain code is irrelevant; macros are still functions.
Full review: [...]
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book about Common Lisp, one of the best out there.
Hoyte must have spent years preparing the material, and it shows in the presentation. Read more
A mixed bag. Contains some interesting and worthwhile ideas. Also contains an equal number of broad, unsupported claims and idiosyncratic digressions. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Matthew B
This book is right up there with SICP and Lisp In Small Pieces. If you are serious about Lisp (any dialect) this book is one of the best.Published 21 months ago by angela m smith
This book is not for lisp newbie definitely. Introduce very unique techniques for macro programming.
Author must be true lisp lover. Read more