- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Manning Publications; 1 edition (September 14, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1617290653
- ISBN-13: 978-1617290657
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 68 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Functional Programming in Scala 1st Edition
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if you are like me--a programmer of middling talent and no FP experience--the notion of working out the fundamentals of FP for yourself is pretty overwhelming. But the authors have provided superb, well commented solutions for all the exercises to nudge you up the learning curve. Perhaps half the book isn't even in the book but in the solutions.
There aren't illustrations or examples of how to use FP to solve real problems in this book, so I recommend reading "Advanced Analytics with Spark" at the same time. They are both outstanding, but FPIS explains Scala without using it, where AAS uses Scala without (overly) explaining it.
If you are sold on FP and want to stay in the FP world while writing Scala then this is the book for you. On the other hand, if you are an OO person in general, or an OO Scala person in particular, then this book will challenge you to look at programming differently and you will come away a better programmer (and maybe an FP one!).
Having come from a flirtation with Haskell and OCaml, but finding myself in need of writing for the JVM, this is exactly the book I needed.
However, to ease the learning curve, I would suggest learning some Haskell first. Midway through the book, I started to get hung up on all the terminology and concepts. I'm exploring Haskell now and a lot of what confused me now makes sense.
I use Scala professionally, but recreationally I program in OCaml. I've studied OCaml and Haskell in some depth, and dabbled in even stranger languages like Concurrent Clean and Mercury. So I'm reasonably familiar with the functional programming literature. This is by way of background for the extravagant claim I'm going to make: "Functional Programming in Scala" is the best book on functional programming yet written, regardless of language.
Why do I think that is? Ironically, I think it has to do with essentially two things: that Scala is not a purely functional language like Haskell, Clean, or Mercury, and that Scala is a relatively deficient functional programming language. These issues combine to necessitate more motivation than, e.g. a Haskell book requires (the reader will be doing referentially-transparent programming whether they see the need for it, like it, or not) and greater clarity of exposition (it's easy for FP in Scala to become pretty ugly pretty quickly if you don't approach it with discernment and taste). Thankfully, Paul and Rúnar have the discernment, experience, and taste that this endeavor calls for.
Also perhaps because Scala has seen relatively widespread adoption, the book cannot, and does not, fall into the trap of only discussing the low-hanging fruit of statically-typed functional programming. There are no compilers or theorem provers in this book, cool as whipping one of those out over the weekend undeniably is. This book is about surprisingly mundane stuff... that's proven, over decades, ridiculously easy to get wrong, whether you have one year's experience, ten years' experience, or one year's experience ten times. It turns out all those crazy statically-typed FP claims about greater correctness, ease of reasoning, maintainability, and surprisingly in many cases even performance are true. Part of the genius of this book is that it explains WHY they're true, in detail, with tons of examples, without beating you over the head with it. It breaks statically-typed FP out of the domain of "the smartest guys in the room" and shows why we should all care--and that we all can. I can think of no higher recommendation than that.
Buy it, read it, and get smarter.
Most recent customer reviews
This book contains a lot of exercises, which is fine.Read more