- Paperback: 206 pages
- Publisher: Pearson; 3 edition (March 30, 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0023397632
- ISBN-13: 978-0023397639
- Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,322,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Little LISPer, Third Edition 3rd Edition
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There are surprises in store for the diligent reader of this masterful introduction to recursion as a fundamental tool for expressing and solving problems. With wit and wisdom, The Little LISPer unfolds some of the most beautiful concepts in mathematics, computer science, and logic.
The authors' goal is to show that recursive thinking is first of all fun, that it is powerful, and that the programming language Lisp allows one to express ideas recursively and naturally. There are hard problems along the way, but their solution brings mastery of recursive, functional, and meta-linguistic abstractions, developing skills in the underlying creative programming in Lisp. The Little LISPer is self-contained: an interpreter for the language is developed using the tools of the book itself .
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I read this book in high school in 1982; it taught me enough that five years later I aced a four-credit independent study class in Lisp (at an Ivy League college) without any further reading. Hey, I *told* him I already knew Lisp! Dr. Friedman, I hope you come across this endorsement some day; please accept my thanks for creating this wonderful little gem. (Pass the pizza, please, I have a little more to write...)
I cannot endorse this book highly enough. If you want to learn Lisp, I know of no better place to go.
The greatest strength of LISP is its firm base in the essentials of the mathematics of computability, including Goedel's recursive functions and Church's Lambda calculus. It uses a single data structure, the linked list, and a minimum of programming primitives, all with well-known mathematical properties. For those who don't know the mathematics, this base in simple concepts means that LISP is one of the easiest programming languages to understand, and at the same time one of the most powerful.
The greatest strength of Little LISPer is its easy and natural sequence of steps for introducing data types and structures (numeric, text, and Boolean atoms organized in lists and trees) along with the recursive programming structures that are natural for creating and processing them.
I have just ordered the third edition for my son who is learning programming (if he can get it away from me).