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Scala for the Impatient [Paperback]

by Cay S. Horstmann
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 16, 2012 0321774094 978-0321774095 1

Scala is a modern programming language for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) that combines the best features of object-oriented and functional programming languages. Using Scala, you can write programs more concisely than in Java, as well as leverage the full power of concurrency. Since Scala runs on the JVM, it can access any Java library and is interoperable with Java frameworks.


Scala for the Impatient concisely shows developers what Scala can do and how to do it. In this book, Cay Horstmann, the principal author of the international best-selling Core Java™, offers a rapid, code-based introduction that’s completely practical. Horstmann introduces Scala concepts and techniques in “blog-sized” chunks that you can quickly master and apply. Hands-on activities guide you through well-defined stages of competency, from basic to expert. Coverage includes  

  • Getting started quickly with Scala’s interpreter, syntax, tools, and unique idioms
  • Mastering core language features: functions, arrays, maps, tuples, packages, imports, exception handling, and more
  • Becoming familiar with object-oriented programming in Scala: classes, inheritance, and traits
  • Using Scala for real-world programming tasks: working with files, regular expressions, and XML
  • Working with higher-order functions and the powerful Scala collections library
  • Leveraging Scala’s powerful pattern matching and case classes
  • Creating concurrent programs with Scala actors
  • Implementing domain-specific languages
  • Understanding the Scala type system
  • Applying advanced “power tools” such as annotations, implicits, and delimited continuations 

Scala is rapidly reaching a tipping point that will reshape the experience of programming. This book will help object-oriented programmers build on their existing skills, allowing them to immediately construct useful applications as they gradually master advanced programming techniques.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Cay S. Horstmann is principal author of Core Java™, Volumes I and II, Eighth Edition (Prentice Hall, 2008), as well as a dozen other books for professional programmers and computer science students. He is a professor of computer science at San Jose State University and a Java Champion.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (March 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321774094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321774095
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cay S. Horstmann is also coauthor of Core JavaServer Faces, Second Edition (Prentice Hall, 2007). Cay is a professor of computer science at San Jose State University, a Java Champion, and a frequent speaker at computer industry conferences.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pragmatic Tour of Scala for Serious Programmers April 25, 2012
For the Impatient:

There's really only one reason to read book reviews, and that's to find out if you should invest your time in another book. The short answer in this case is "Yes!" -- provided you are an experienced programmer seeking greater expressiveness -- and "Yes!" -- if you are have stared in bewilderment at Scala code which seemed like a Byzantine Type Zoo. This book will sort you out and put you on the path to productivity.

For the slightly less Impatient: (Ok, I'm going to run long. I really like the book.)

If you're not using Scala yet but you've been reading about it online, you've probably noticed a lot of discussion and speculation online about which companies and how many people are actually using Scala in production. It's clear that Scala is generating a lot of interest, and similarly clear that many people haven't quite figured out whether Scala is suitable for them and their projects. "Scala for the Impatient" can help you decide for yourself and your teams. And if you decide to adopt Scala for a project, this book will also help get you going.

Let's get one thing out of the way from the start. "Impatient" is not a euphemism for "unprepared." Bring your A-Game. This is a book for programmers who are serious about their craft. It has been intelligently written and carefully edited to enable experienced programmers to quickly learn what's essential and what's extra in Scala. There's no fluff here. If you have little patience for undifferentiated repetition and like the idea that every sentence matters, you're in the right place.

But impatience is not the book's only virtue. As I write this, a wave of Scala books is coming to market. I've read several, most of which I'm unlikely to pick up again.
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47 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No time to learn... just tell me what to do May 6, 2012
[Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher.]

My background: I've been a Java developer for twelve years, and I've been following Scala for over four years. I'm not a fanatic about functional programming. My primary interest is in applying Scala in corporate production software development.

"Scala for the Impatient" is to Scala as a recipe book is to cooking. You're not going to learn the basics from it, and you won't learn much of the theory behind Scala, either. It's mostly a collection of short how-to items. The back cover says as much, that it "concisely shows developers what Scala can do and how to do it." In most cases there's no explanation of why something works, how the technique fits into Scala or into various programming styles, what the advantages and limitations are, when you'd want to use it, when you wouldn't want to use it, nor what alternatives you might have.

I have no idea what the purpose of the first few chapters was. They're disorganized grab-bags of mostly the extreme basics (how to call a method) with occasional advanced topics mixed in (implicit conversions and operator overloading, on page 5). If you have even a basic knowledge of Scala, you're not going to learn much until somewhere around Chapter 6. If you're a beginner, these early chapters will leave you totally confused. I'm stunned that the "def" keyword is simply used without any discussion. I'm even more stunned that on page 33 we get, "Alternatively, you could write a.filter(_ % 2 == 0).map(2 * _)" when there'd been no prior mention of closures or anonymous functions, much less the underscore shortcut syntax, nor any mention of the filter and map methods.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the perspective of a Java programmer April 11, 2012
I started learning scala "by fire", enjoying the succinctness of the language before really learning what any best practices are, or what it can do--just trial and error. I definitely am happy that I picked up this book, and have learned a lot reading through it. After reading, I feel a lot of refactoring coming on for some of the code I've written.

The information is pretty dense (as you might gather from the title), so I would recommend it for at least an intermediate level programmer. I was a bit shocked to see that the book is ~400 pages, being "for the impatient", but no complaints on the content.

The author continually states "if you're coming from C++/Java, this will make sense to you" or "this might confuse you...", so it seems at least partly aimed toward that audience, which probably makes sense. I felt like I was getting a brain dump customized for me as I read through it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for any Java/C# developer or Scala novice. September 14, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the perfect learning resource for those who are comfortable with Java or C#.

Most programming technologies are better learned with various web resources rather than a paper book; this is a case where a book is much more appropriate. The complexity of the material is suited to a full written explanation rather than merely a web search and the volume of concepts and features in the Scala language and library easily justifies the length of this book without any padding.

So far, every chapter is genuinely useful. I can feel actual learning benefit from everything covered. Nothing is annoyingly basic: this book assumes you are comfortable with Java or C# and know all about classes/interfaces/inheritance/exceptions/packages/static/scoping/etc. This book is also actually entertaining. This is partly because Scala is so well designed. Once I get an understanding of a new Scala feature and I can see why it's an improvement and it is genuinely fun. But this book does a great job of organizing the material and walking the reader through everything.

I have written a few personal projects in Scala before reading this book, but this book has been excellent at helping me learn the Scala language/library feature set properly rather than just using it as a Java++.

I'd absolutely recommend this to anyone interested in Scala or any Java/C# developer who wants to keep up with the newer developments of the software field.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Also has too many forward references.
A complaint I have with some technical books is when they use forward referencing. That is, I'm going to show you this now and we'll explain it later in chapter 15.... Read more
Published 13 days ago by skykam
2.0 out of 5 stars A collection of blogs is not a book
C. Horstmann writes on his homepage under What you get:

"Blog-length chunks of information that you can digest quickly. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dr. Christian Donninger
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Scala book by far
This is hands-down the best introductory / intermediate book for learning Scala. I buy this for every new engineer that starts at my company.
Published 2 months ago by Thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars Most pragmatic introduction to Scala out there
There are now a number of Scala books, but the "Impatient" book is easily the most accessible of the bunch. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Eric
5.0 out of 5 stars buy it
Excellent book. I am a long time java engineer and this is the first language that has excited me to learn something new. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise, readable overview of Scala language
Just like the title suggests; provides an easy way for people experienced with languages such as Java to quickly bone up on Scala. Read more
Published 7 months ago by sdatx
5.0 out of 5 stars The genuine book of Scala
I'm very much glad that I've picked "Scala for the Impatient" as my second book about Scala (after Atomic Scala by Bruce Eckel and Dianne Marsh). Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jacek Laskowski
5.0 out of 5 stars Cuts to the point.
I'm impatient, and I *hate* wading through boring commentary. This wonderful book breaks the language down into bite-size chunks.. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Kent L. Estes
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for Java developers learning Scala.
Get's right to the points. Involves the reader early in code examples. Very good instructional style for learning scala programming.
Published 8 months ago by Vince E Marco
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
Just have to start using it sometime: kind of still stuck on Java for GUI/ Desktop programming; but I got this one because the one by the originator, with the early edition, was a... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Just_Rich
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