- Paperback: 504 pages
- Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (October 15, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1593272812
- ISBN-13: 978-1593272814
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 62 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Land of Lisp: Learn to Program in Lisp, One Game at a Time! 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
About the Author
Conrad Barski has an M.D. from the University of Miami, and nearly 20 years of programming experience. This includes a stint developing an obscure Atari Jaguar game, and working on many medical software projects. Barski is also an avid cartoonist, having created the popular alien Lisp mascot and many graphical tutorials. He currently develops cardiology software and lives in Washington, D.C.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
As a teacher of computer science, I tend to prefer teaching out of books with a coherent pedagogy. How to Design Programs is my favorite textbook. Simply Scheme is another good one.
Land of Lisp doesn't seem to be grounded in any kind of modern pedagogical philosophy. Instead, it has a kind of retro feel that is appealing in its own way. This book takes me back to the 80s, learning how to program by typing in complex BASIC programs out of magazines and books. Many of the programs I typed in, I didn't understand 100%. But each time I entered a program, I learned something, and then by tweaking the programs and seeing what it would do, I learned a little more. One of my favorite middle school memories is the time I managed to understand a text adventure BASIC program well enough to write my own. Land of Lisp, in fact, has code for a rudimentary text adventure engine, as well as a blatant "Retro type-in game" of Robots that fits compactly in less than a page of code. So it's easy to see why this book evokes in me a sense of nostalgia.
I think Scheme is a better language for learning programming than Common Lisp. Common Lisp lacks a bit of Scheme's elegance, and it's just harder to get a Lisp environment up and running. But Land of Lisp doesn't make any apologies for Common Lisp's quirks. On the contrary, it revels in the cars and the cdrs, and the convoluted loop macro and format strings which allow you to write some ridiculously concise code (like the retro type-in robot game). The book repeatedly brags about how amazing Lisp is, sometimes to the point of overstating the case for dynamic, functional languages. This is not a book that will attract non-programmers to programming, but for that rare breed of person who was "born to program", the book has an infectious enthusiasm for programming in general, and Lisp specifically.
In my mind, the truly special thing about Land of Lisp is its inspired collection of engaging and well-chosen projects, which are quite a bit different from the run-of-the-mill exercises in a typical textbook. As a teacher, I am glad to own this book because I'm always on the lookout for great project ideas for my students. A book with one great project is usually worth the price -- this book has several! I intend to use these project ideas with my Scheme students. Obviously, the programs translate the easiest to other Lisp dialects, but even if you don't teach Lisp, I'd recommend purchasing this book and trying to port these projects to your favorite language. Orc Battle, for example, should be doable in any object-oriented language. A number of the projects would probably work well in Python. I would advise against trying to tackle these projects in Java (the resulting programs would be too verbose), but a modern multi-paradigm variant of Java, (e.g., Scala), should work just fine.
for many just learning simple transformations filter, map, fold etc... but with lisp there are more than a few versions of these. So all together we have
- initially strange syntax
- mature and terse language features
- introduced via rather acrobatic applications. One of the first games involved building a graph and searching it.
sounds daunting? Amazingly Conrad Barski makes it fun enough!
it all seems to pay off and put a smile on my face in the end when you comprehend the 10 line lisp function. Yea its only ten lines of code but look how much its doing and look how much fun it was to get there!
going forward I would like to learn more about high performance lisp...
Mr. Barski takes what is usually taught in a dry technical manner and makes each individual part entertaining. There's a lot to wrap your head around, but if you know a little bit about computer history and the low-level workings of bits and bytes, there's just the matter of the language syntax and discovering what Lisp makes easy that are difficult or impossible in the more mainstream languages. The cartoons help a lot. No really.
If you find yourself falling asleep trying to learn Lisp from the MIT video lectures (available free on the MIT site) or from some other source, try Land of Lisp. It is by far the most entertaining introductory course on the subject, and it will help you pay attention in the more "serious" Lisp courses.
If you want to be able to say "I know Lisp", this book, together with some actual Lisp programming experience will do that. 5/5
Most recent customer reviews
I bougth the paperback edtition.Read more
Macros are introduced much later in the book.Read more