- Series: MIT Press
- Paperback: 216 pages
- Publisher: The MIT Press; fourth edition edition (December 21, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0262560992
- ISBN-13: 978-0262560993
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 69 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Little Schemer - 4th Edition fourth edition Edition
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This delightful book leads you through the basic elements of programming in Scheme (a Lisp dialect) via a series of dialogues with well-chosen questions and exercises. Besides teaching Scheme, The Little Schemer teaches the reader how to think about computation. The authors focus on ten essential concepts of thinking about how to compute and demonstrate how to apply these concepts in inventive ways. The Little Schemer is an excellent book both for the beginner and for the seasoned programmer.
I learned more about LISP from this book than I have from any of the other LISP books I've read over the years...While other books will tell you the mechanics of LISP, they can leave you largely uninformed on the style of problem-solving for which LISP is optimized. The Little LISPer teaches you how to think in the LISP language...an inexpensive, enjoyable introduction.(Gregg Williams Byte)
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The author appears not to give thought to the probability that each student has different levels or aspects of understanding, and forgets that nobody knows everything about any one thing. "Lambda", "cons", "car" and "cdr" are some of the many words that he uses and assumes everyone should understand
I highly recommend the book Programming & Meta-programming in Scheme to help explain the mathematics and vocabulary used in the Scheme language. I recommend this book especially to those that are perplexed by the text in The Little Schemer.
But I could forgive all that if its font were just a little easier on the eyes. I'm 49, and have finally arrived at that point in life where a book's font makes a difference to me. This book wasn't typeset with middle-aged people in mind. I probably should have found a Kindle edition so I could choose my own font.
Let me tell you that this was an excellent choice. The book was shocking from the very first pages. It is written in rare "Question-Answer" style that doesn't directly show you any definitions, but just examples. It is up to you to figure it out, what the formal definition is (if you care).
For example, the first thing in the book is something like this:
Q: "Is it true, that atom is an atom?"
More important thing is, that this teaches you how to think recursively and illustrates it by using a lot of samples all over the book. You don't need no IDE, no compiler, no nothing. Just an text editor and this book.
It is easy to spot how elegant some thing are in this functional recursive way and maybe it is sad that some things are too procedural in the todays world of programming. But don't expect anything easy! Roughly from the second part of this book it's getting quite hard and it'll fairly exercise your very brain capabilities.
Even though Little Schemer is not going to change most of the code I write on daily basis, it had altered my thinking and it had overally expanded my knowledge as a programmer.
I've gone through this book at least 5 times. Check out this photo that I just took of all the notes that I've made while reading it and the Seasoned/Reasoned Schemers. That is a lot of hours spent with these books. I enjoyed this book a lot and I copied out all the fun code examples and put them on GitHub, and I also wrote a blog post about deriving y-combinator based on one of the chapters in this book.
I love this book so much that I've placed this book #4 in my Top 100 Programming, Computer and Science books list:
(If this link gets removed, google for >>catonmat top 100 programming computer science books<< to find my article.)