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Kevin C. O'Kane is professor emeritus of computer science at the University of Northern Iowa. He is the author of an open source Mumps Compiler and Interpreter as well as more than 40 published papers in computer science with an emphasis on biomedical informatics.
The presentation of this book is for the most part pretty good, with a few exceptions. The examples chosen are occasionally mystifying but mostly chosen in a way that allowed me to feel I'd learned the basic language without sitting at a console trying examples. The underlying language it describes is remarkably weird and painfully quirky, so coming up with good examples to illustrate that is not always easy. There's a bias toward the M2 implementation, but the book tries to be clear about that, and occasionally notes where that matters--it's hard to be sure without getting a lot of implementations and comparing them how thorough they were on that particular point. Still, overall, I was happy with the book.
This book has a number of shortcomings, but for experienced programmers, it is adequate. There are many typos/editing errors that detract from the readability of the text. Code examples are floated to avoid having page breaks within the example, but this has the unfortunate result of separating the example and its explanation, often by multiple pages.
As someone with 25 years of programming experience in more than 20 languages, I was able to use this book to get a good introduction to mumps. However, it may not be sufficient for less experienced readers.
Good layout as a reference, but not enough complete examples for newbies. Would help to have example programs available on the web. Still looking for such a book/url combination to follow though a full tutorial.
This book is a great concise introduction to the MUMPS language and database. As usual with programming books, it is to be read close to a keyboard, while practicing. I would recommend the fis-gtm (GT.M) compiler, that is now a Linux package.
Good but needs more language limitations (e.g. max length of variable names, max length of global subscripts, etc...) but otherwise it was good reading. I wish the implementation had more standard features, especially in numeric global subscript sorting.