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Let's Talk LISP First Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0135327623
ISBN-10: 0135327628
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; First edition (February 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0135327628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0135327623
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,624,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Douglas M. Auclair on February 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Here is a book that succeeds, without trying too hard, to teach its subject and to entertain the reader while it's about its business.
"Let's Talk Lisp" starts with an unabashed view of it's subject matter: "'Programming languages can be divided into two categories. In one category, there is LISP; in the second category, all the other programming languages!'" This is a good omen (no apologies offered; instead, unflinching belief) for the rest of the book that bears fruit in the following chapters.
The chapters are well-thought-out in their organization and also in their placement. They are organized as follows: lesson, example, exercises, repeat. This organization tightly groups activity with source material and suited me very well. Also, unlike other books where I found myself skipping around various chapters, this book reads well straight through.
What's fascinating about this book is also it's downfall: it reveals the strengths of Lisp 25 years ago -- map was a standard function on Lisp then. Nowadays, a programming language without this higher order function would be considered crippled (e.g. both Perl and C++ now have the map function), too bad for the community that such higher order functions weren't standard then, as well.
It's datedness shows in other ways: CAR and CDR are used extensively -- almost exclusively, and tail-recursion is not mentioned at all (functions are defined using it, but the reader is not to learn what this technique is called). A person programming in the style of this book would be branded a dinosaur. How unfortunate! for otherwise this book is a joy to read.
The joy of reading this book comes from listening to the author present each lesson.
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