Understanding Computation: From Simple Machines to Impossible Programs 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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About the Author
Tom is a computer scientist and programmer, and the founder of Codon, a digital product consultancy in London. He works as a consultant, mentor and trainer, helping companies to improve the quality and clarity of their approach to creating software products, usually on the web. He has lectured on optimizing compilers at the University of Cambridge, co-organizes the Ruby Manor conference, and is a member of the London Ruby User Group.--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- Publication Date : May 15, 2013
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Publisher : O'Reilly Media; 1st Edition (May 15, 2013)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B00CT3C4IM
- File Size : 3446 KB
- Print Length : 334 pages
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #594,672 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Short and pithy would have been better. Worth a read though.
There are some code examples in this book that are not explained and are hard to understand, maybe the book would be better off without examples the author does not plan to explain adequately, or code examples that do not help the reader understand the subject being treated.
Most of the code examples that are not thoroughly explained are *extra* content, but I think they degrade the quality of the book instead of improve it.
However, I feel that Mr. Stuart (much like all other authors of complicated, technical books I've read) falls into the trap of following a very predefined path for his line of reasoning, which leaves the reader with the feeling (at least, this was the case for me) that this is 'all planned out' and that there's a lot of information he intentionally leaves out or doesn't mention (this might not even be the case, but it still FEELS like this - which is a problem). If you have no idea what I'm talking about, read the book, and if you still don't know what I'm talking about then feel free to shake your head condescendingly.
Now, my interest in this particular field of computer science is cursory at best, which might not make me the ideal fit for Mr. Stuart's target audience, so if you get a major hard-on when syntax trees are generated (seek help) then you might get more out of this book than me.
That being said, he managed to peak my interest in concepts I felt were mind-numbingly boring in university (such as non-deterministic and deterministic finite automata), so kudos to Mr. Stuart for that. This book is a possible gold mine for the more interested pupil, especially when considering the problem of Turing completeness (in which he completely lost me, mid-chapter I put the book down and went to the fridge and rewarded myself with a beer for my efforts), reasoning about programs and (wait for it) generation of syntax trees.
All in all a good read, if you're into this sort of thing.
Top reviews from other countries
I have to confess that my Ruby isn't all that great though and I have to read and re-read the code blocks a lot. My verdict would be that you should speak Ruby quite well _or_ have some basic understanding of computation before you pick this one up. If you lack both, this book might be a little too hard for an enjoyable read.