- Series: MIT Press
- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: The MIT Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (October 14, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0262562146
- ISBN-13: 978-0262562140
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #319,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Reasoned Schemer (MIT Press) Paperback – October 14, 2005
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Contrary to popular belief, logic programming doesn't always mean programming in Prolog. In this groundbreaking book, Friedman and Kiselyov extend Scheme to form a completely new kind of logic programming system, one which is in many ways even more elegant than Prolog. Written in the same classic question-and-answer format as the authors' previous book The Little Schemer, The Reasoned Schemer covers goals, first-class relations, interleaved and non-interleaved backtracking, the relationship between relational and functional programming, and much more. Reading this book will not only cause your geek rating to skyrocket and impress all the Cool Kids, it will also open your eyes to a paradigm of programming which most programmers are completely unaware of, but which will undoubtedly play a significant role in the programming systems of the future. More importantly, though, this book is great fun to read and will make you a better programmer.(Michael Vanier, Caltech)
About the Author
William E. Byrd is a PhD candidate in Computer Science at Indiana University.
Oleg Kiselyov is a computer scientist from Monterey, California.
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Top customer reviews
Non logic programming basically works from the notion of imperative data flow. This is generally represented by the concept of a function. A function takes a argument and returns a value, it takes input variables and returns output variables. A logic program creates a relation (not a function) between a set of variables. If you had a two input function, with one output, you could represent this as a logic program relation of three variables. Two of those relation variables would be what were the two inputs to the function, the third variable would be the output of the function. Here is the kicker though. You can provide concrete values for any number of those variable in any order and ask the relation what the other variables might be. At the simplest level, this means that you might run your function "backwards" (from the output to the input). But really, it means that you can ask any question relating to those variables (conceptually). Now, realistically, it is not as easy as that. Some relations may never terminate (return a answer), some grow too large and barf (overflow), some may not complete for various other reasons. It can be more complex to actually write a logical relation than a function, this must be balanced against the fact that the relation is far more powerful than the function.
If you want a primer for logical programing, this book is probably worth your time. It takes you through writing many of the fundamental parts of a logical relation. The only thing I think it really skips is the actual unification (= x y) primitive itself, which I believe it uses as a given. You can learn quite a bit by reading this code slowly and carefully. Note however, that you must complete every step of the question/answer pairings! Skimming this book will not work (unless you already know it). Really, these concepts build on each other. It is a rather small (page number and physically) book, but it will take far more time to really go through then its size would suggest. Read and work through for the purpose of understanding, and I think you will really get a good backing in logic programming, and probably enjoy yourself as well!
Note: The above statements applied to the paper edition.
The Kindle version of this Book is pure garbage. Here I am, on a 2016 Macbook Pro with a Retina Display and I can barely read the damn thing. I tried reading on my Android, just awful. I tried on my Windows PC, same. A good deal of the information in this book is communicated by bolding and italics. These are incredibly difficult to see in the Kindle version. Shame on the publisher for releasing such an inferior thing to the public. Disappointed in Amazon for not enforcing minimum legibility standards on non free Kindle books. DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER BUYING THE KINDLE EDITION!
The relational/logic programming style is usually learned by studying the Prolog language, which is how I learned it (though I'm no expert). Having a knowledge of Prolog will definitely make this book easier to understand, although the approach given here is more modern than Prolog in several ways. For one thing, the named relations of Prolog are replaced here by anonymous relations (analogous to lambda expressions being anonymous functions), and for another, the (somewhat brutal) "cut" operator of Prolog, which is used to control backtracking, is ignored in favor of more subtle approaches involving interleaving solutions and giving up after single results are found.
I think the approach of learning-by-pattern-recognition that all the "Little X" books use is fairly effective here, though I think a lot of readers (meaning me) wouldn't mind a more extended discussion of the mechanics of the system.
All in all, if you liked _The Little Schemer_ and are curious about new ways of programming, you should definitely pick up a copy of this book. It will stretch your mind like a Slinky, and when you're done you'll have learned a new way of looking at programming.
Most recent customer reviews
Can't read a thing out of it. Most pages are images not text.
Zooming in doesn't help.Read more
I read the Little Schemer from one end to the other, and I simply adored it.Read more