- Series: Theory in Practice (O'Reilly)
- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (April 6, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596515170
- ISBN-13: 978-0596515171
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Masterminds of Programming: Conversations with the Creators of Major Programming Languages (Theory in Practice (O'Reilly)) 1st Edition
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About the Author
Federico Biancuzzi is a freelance interviewer. His interviews appeared on publications such as ONLamp.com, LinuxDevCenter.com, SecurityFocus.com, NewsForge.com, Linux.com, TheRegister.co.uk, ArsTechnica.com, the Polish print magazine BSD Magazine, and the Italian print magazine Linux&C.
Shane Warden manages Onyx Neon Press, an independent publisher. His areas of expertise include agile software development, language design, and virtual machines for dynamic languages. He is also a published novelist. His books include The Art of Agile Development and Masterminds of Programming.
Top customer reviews
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It's one of the books that takes your understanding from how things are done to why things are done and you hear it directly from the horse's mouth. Great programming languages have been created to solve problems and as we understand those problems and encounter issues in creating the solutions new programming languages are created to make us more effective in developing the solutions.
My favorite chapter was FORTH, a programming language unrelated to any other,
which provides insight into the genius and unconventional thinking of Chuck Moore.
I find that very interesting and mind opening and I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in computer sciences as well as any programmer who aspires to be better.
It is hardly appropriate to call Forth, APL, Objective-C, Eiffel or Lua etc. as "major languages." All of there were/are in a marginal use at best, or even in a complete obscurity.
Probably the selection of the languages was dictated by the set their creators being available for an interview or willing to participate in this project.
I second the opinion of other reviewers that the author of C++ all too often digresses into compares to Java, some of them of a banal nature "C++ differs from Java in that its underlying machine is the real machine rather than a single abstract machine", what is true for virtually every language translated into a specific machine code. I miss in his chapter any self critical reference to the incurring maintenance problems with C++, which are caused by its cryptic set of syntactic ambiguities and amount of implicit object creations. These features have ultimately led to a ban of C++ in some places, most notably in my company Oracle. I happen to second this decision and I believe that C++ was the most prominent example of a language misdesign, the wrong way into which the programming was pushed by coincidence of coming from the back than so famous AT&T Labs. I was hoping to read some words of self criticism. Instead, if asked why some major projects are still written in C, Stroustrup speaks on page 8 of "conservatism and inertia". Nope, its not true, its rather prudence and need to predictable maintenance.
Of course, this opinion about C++ is my own and in no way diminishing the value of this book. Its authors did asked the critical questions, and they merely quote the answers. C++ is clearly one of the major languages, for good or (as I believe) for wrong. My point of criticism on this book is lack of separation between major and secondary languages, lack of even mention of truly influential languages which changed the world of computing (Algol, Pascal), and its poor index.
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