Programming Scala: Scalability = Functional Programming + Objects (Animal Guide) 1st Edition

16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596155957
ISBN-10: 0596155956
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dean Wampler is a Consultant, Trainer, and Mentor with Object Mentor, Inc. He specializes in Scala, Java, and Ruby. He works with clients on application design strategies that combine object-oriented programming, functional programming, and aspect-oriented programming. He also consults on Agile methods, like Lean and XP. Dean is a frequent speaker at industry and academic conferences on these topics. He has a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Washington.

Alex Payne is Platform Lead at Twitter, where he develops services that enable programmers to build atop the popular social messaging service. Alex has previously built web applications for political campaigns, non-profits, and early-stage startups, and supported information security efforts for military and intelligence customers. In his free time, Alex studies, speaks, and writes about the history, present use, and evolution of programming languages, as well as minimalist art and design.


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Product Details

  • Series: Animal Guide
  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (September 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596155956
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596155957
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #437,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm the author of several books:

-- "Programming Scala", a practical book for experienced software developers that introduces this important, modern programming language (coauthor: Alex Payne).
-- "Functional Programming for Java Developers", a succinct introduction for Java developers to the concepts of functional programming, where I motivate its importance and demonstrate how to use FP concepts in Java programs.
-- "Programming Hive", a comprehensive guide to Hive, the SQL tool for Hadoop (coauthors: Ed Capriolo and Jason Rutherglen).
-- "Clean Code", I contributed the chapter on "clean systems" to this book by Robert Martin.

I have a 20-year-old passion for writing software, ranging from embedded systems to Internet and enterprise applications. You can find out more about me at these web sites:

-- My personal home page.
-- Presentations, white papers, etc.
-- I'm a Principal Consultant in "Big Data" systems.
-- My blog.

My "off-line" interests include photography, hiking, skiing, and other mountain sports, cooking, and reading, including books that aren't about software!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By D. Pearson on January 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
Scala is a very interesting language and tremendously powerful. It takes aspects of functional languages joins them to DSLs (domain specific languages) and adds it all on top of standard object oriented programming concepts and then runs the whole thing on the Java virtual machine. As such there's a lot of interesting things to learn and understand about the language and the fairly radical concepts its raising.

However, while the topic is clearly fascinating I feel the book is not especially well organized. Scala introduces many interesting and novel language design concepts (e.g. the functional features and their take on the actor model for concurrency). It also introduces a great number of language short cuts and syntactic sugar, allowing for DSLs or at the very least less typing and more of the feel of a scripting language. The book chooses to introduce the language short cuts first and then proceeds to use them liberally when introducing the language features. This no doubt promotes good "scala" practice but does make understanding the new concepts more difficult since we're still learning the new syntactic forms.

I think a better approach would have been to introduce the language concepts first - in long hand form (and we're usually talking just a few extra characters here, not pages of text) - and then follow up in the later chapters with the syntactic sugar and the ways to reduce typing and allow for alternative naming and syntactic forms (which helps support domain specific languages). That would have made it easier to grasp the concepts and then we could have learned how to enhance those basic skills and produce even more compact and flexible Scala programs.

One indication of this problem is the great number of forward references in the book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Andrew White on October 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is frustrating.

The content is fine and understandable to an experienced programmer, but the amount of forward references to other chapters in the book is ridiculous, it seems like every other paragraph contains one, and it robs the book of any natural flow. If you follow along with the text chapter by chapter, you are either a) trusting that the authors do indeed explain concepts that they bring up but then defer elaborating on to much later or b) constantly jumping all over the book.

I think that there is a lot of good knowledge in here, but a much, much better job could have been done on organizing it such that each chapter stood relatively on it's own, each being an extension of the next. Or if you aren't going to do that, just follow the cookbook formula, where you can zoom in on some relevant examples and learn from those.

There aren't a lot of Scala books out there, so choices are limited, but I feel you would probably be better off waiting for a second edition on this one.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Malcolm Gorman on January 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
Programming Scala can range from scripts, to object-oriented, to functional, to Actor-based multi-threading, to sophisticated library writing. Scripts are pre-compiled with an implicit main, for those short knock-off tasks, with the entire Scala libraries and Java libraries at the ready.

Programming Scala, the book, welcomes readers from a variety of language backgrounds, such as Java, Python, Ruby, JavaScript. I've read other Scala books, but I nevertheless found Programming Scala to be interesting, informative and stimulating. The writing style is very clear, which is just as well, because some advanced programming techniques are tackled as the book progresses. The Scala language is so uniform and concise, with powerful features and libraries, that it is feasible to tackle advanced programming which would be unthinkable or impossible in many other languages.

The book encourages test-driven development in early chapters, which makes the example code pretty much self-explanatory.

Author Dean Wampler responded quickly to my minor change request for the downloadable sample code to self-test in Ubuntu. Authors aren't obligated to provide post-publication service to readers, but these guys do.

The Tapir (Elephant) in The Room is a fast moving hunter whose speed defies his size. Like Scala.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Papadimitriou on January 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book "Programming Scala", is a dense, well written book that covers concisely many aspects of this great language.
Scala is the most advanced language with which I have involved, and as I learn it better, I admire even more the clever design decisions behind the language. Therefore, it is difficult to have an easy to read book on such a technically advanced language. The material of the book although it is dense in concepts, it is readable and the examples are very good and instructive.
I strongly recommend the book to anyone involved with Scala, and to anyone that wants to become a better programmer, since Scala is an excellent vehicle to implement robust and effective software systems (I believe that currently is the best one).

The book is very useful as a complement to the classic "Programming in Scala" book of Odersky et. al., which in my opinion is the best for learning systematically Scala from the beginning. It presents many aspects of the language with a different and complementary view and thus the reader can gain a lot of benefits and better familiar with the powerful Scala language.
In conclusion the book of Dean Wampler and Alex Payne is valuable both for the intermediate and advanced Scala programmer and for any's competent programmer's bookself.
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