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on November 18, 2015
The author attempts to be unbiased but still shows bias in the book. It's slightly disappointing how many languages are on top of the JVM, which shows through into the languages themselves resulting in limited exposure. At times the book does a poor job covering the nuances of a language while others it covers well. It's a nice start, but requires a fair amount of supplemental material unless you're familiar with the language or it's model.
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on November 7, 2011
Because of this book I took a second look and Scala and a first look at Clojure and I will never look back.

Thank you, Bruce Tate!
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on April 9, 2011
Bruce Tate does an amazing job cutting to the heart of what makes seven programming languages special in about 50 pages each. He is also pretty honest about the limitations of each. I had a great time working through the seven chapters and learned a lot. At the start of each chapter, you have to figure out how to download and install a compiler/interpreter for your os. The book does not cover that part of the process which is fair enough. Then, each chapter contains a series of simple, complete, well-paced examples. Type them in, and be amazed how much you learn in 50 pages.

This book is not (and never claims to be) a comprehensive introduction to any of the languages. In some sense it is better as it shows the strength of each, almost like an advertisement. He is trying to get you excited about each language. Going into this book, I had some familiarity with Ruby and Haskell but knew virtually nothing about any of the other five. On the two languages I had used before, those chapters were solid and I even learned a few things. Of the other five, Tate did his job and got me excited about Io. Since reading that chapter, I have been diving in to Io. The others were interesting, but Io caught my attention.

The book is a little heavy on the functional languages: Erlang, Scala, and Haskell. Given that I am already Haskell fan, the Erlang and Scala chapters felt like a missed opportunity to me. Of course, everyone who reads the book would probably want a different list of seven.
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on May 24, 2011
I really wanted to like this book. I enjoy learning new languages and found the author's style pretty engaging.

My experience started off well. I felt that I learned some new stuff about Ruby (I've used Ruby on and off for seven years, and read a couple of books on it -- so that was a good sign).

After that I hit a real speed bump, IO left me cold and I found that the Prolog chapter, although it made me understand how to code Prolog better that when I looked at it decades ago, didn't help me internalize why I would want to.

I decided to put the book aside for a bit and switch to Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!: A Beginner's Guide. After getting about halfway through that, I wanted some more hands on work so I looked over the Haskell chapter in Seven Languages and found that it really wouldn't help me with what I was trying to understand (the type system).

The bottom line is that despite the author's good intentions and solid work there is no substitute for a deeper dive into each language. I give it two stars because of the Ruby chapter and the value of the interviews with the language designers.
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on November 2, 2015
Well... it's been a few more than 7 weeks and I've not quite completed it but still highly recommended as a great book. Provides some very interesting thoughts on the direction of languages and a good cross section of different paradigms such as prolog declarative vs functional in haskell and OO in ruby.
Go on, give it a shot!
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on November 17, 2012
I would imagine that for most programmers with a strictly procedural/imperative background, or an OO background, most languages in this book, other than say, perhaps Ruby, represent a significant "paradigm" shift (literally!). Functional programming concepts are some of the most difficult concepts to really understand. Often, solving a small, but real world problem helps cement concepts and make the leap in the mind of someone new to the language.

That said, one thing I found disappointing about this book is that virtually all of material is presented via the REPL, which inherently limits the size of the examples and thus limits its ability to connect with the reader.

It would have been nice to see code listings that lasted a page or more instead of a few lines.
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on September 10, 2013
Yes, this book can make you a polyglot programmer in short time.
Very recommended for the programmers coming from Java/C# and "{}" based languages trying to learn something and broaden their views.
Maybe a bit less quality than "Seven Databases in Seven Weeks", but still 5 stars.
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on October 9, 2012
Having played around with some of these languages myself before reading the book, I still found it to be both enlightening, instructing and challenging. Bruce does a great job of succinctly expressing the core ideas behind each of the included languages whilst still portraying the role they play a broader context.
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on April 17, 2015
Simply a must to have for those who are interested in programming languages and various paradigms. It's the older brother of "seven more languages in seven weeks", also a must to have
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on December 30, 2015
Such a great book for exposing yourself to new ways of thinking and creating. If you feel that a hammer does not solve all problems, you will enjoy this book.
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