- Series: Theory in Practice (O'Reilly)
- Paperback: 620 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (July 6, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596510047
- ISBN-13: 978-0596510046
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 52 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Beautiful Code: Leading Programmers Explain How They Think (Theory in Practice (O'Reilly)) 1st Edition
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About the Author
Andy Oram is an editor at O'Reilly Media, a highly respected book publisher and technology information provider. An employee of the company since 1992, Andy currently specializes in free software and open source technologies. His work for O'Reilly includes the first books ever published commercially in the United States on Linux, and the 2001 title Peer-to-Peer. His modest programming and system administration skills are mostly self-taught.
Greg Wilson holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh, and has worked on high-performance scientific computing, data visualization, and computer security. He is the author of Data Crunching and Practical Parallel Programming (MIT Press, 1995), and is a contributing editor at Doctor Dobb's Journal, and an adjunct professor in Computer Science at the University of Toronto.
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Top customer reviews
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For the intermediate or beginning programmer, I'd say this is an excellent read as long as you are able to comprehend the material. Some of the text demands more than a cursory knowledge of programming. I will probably need to reread a few chapters later in my career in order to understand them in the manner they were intended.
The book reads like a book about software pattern implementations, but without the emphasis on the patterns. It is left to the reader to draw generalizations from the examples that they can apply to their own code.
Personally, I'd like to see more books like this. It provides a good frame of reference for the construction of good software.
The better part is that each section is short enough to be read in one shot. Helps a lot on following the authors!
First off, there isn't any beautiful code in this book as far as I can see (and I'm looking from the perspective of 25 years in this game). The first chapter is about regular expressions, which are about as beautiful as a root canal.
As another reviewer pointed out, the writing is terrible, too. Each chapter is like the programmer's eulogy to himself. He'll recount his great achievements and tell us how much he liked puppy dogs and sunshine -- or Haskell and Scheme, or whatever he personally likes. How any of this is supposed to be relevant to your job as a programmer is beyond me.
One chapter opens with a line of arcane Scheme code and the suggestion that, if you don't understand it, maybe you should just "read the first few chapters of the Scheme manual." What a jerk! Another author suggests that we should wade through all the intricacies of the Solaris operating system's process control scheme so that he has enough background material to describe a bug. Really? This is beautiful code? I think not.
If you want to feel superior to other programmers... If you want to sleep well knowing that *your* code must surely be more beautiful than anything these windbags have thrown out, then this is a great book! Otherwise, a basic college course in program organization and debugging would be of much greater help.
Real beautiful code must meet two objectives: First, the program must run correctly and be easy to work with in the users' eyes (not just the programmer's). Second, the program must be easy to debug because 75% of development time and effort goes into debugging, not writing new algorithms. These are primary axioms in quality software development, yet they're never mentioned in this book, which is full of puffery and pride for the developers' own code that looks "beautiful" to them.
Do yourself and your end users a favor and skip this.
Most recent customer reviews
You can trust my opinion because I bought the book to test reading textbooks...Read more