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📙 How to Design Programs: An Introduction to Programming and Computing by Matthias Felleisen, Robert Bruce Findler, Matthew Flatt, Shriram Krishnamurthi — pdf free


While this is intended as an intro programming textbook, I suspect more people here will be considering it as an intro to Scheme/LISP than as beginning programming text. If you try to use this book to learn Scheme, you will be frustrated. It is planned out to show problem-solving skills rather than how to use Scheme. That said, I suspect I do have some insight into how the book would be received by an intro programming student. I had not done any previous functional programming and thus I had some of the same conceptual issues a beginner would have. I don't think it would work well here either. While the pedagogical approach is well thought out, the low-level writing (ie, the actual sentences and paragraphs) is often incomprehensible. I think Scheme, or any other form of LISP, is also a poor choice of language for an intro class. Obviously, these writers have a different point of view-check out their "Teach Scheme" web site to see what they are thinking. I think LISP is a mighty language and that functional programming is great for advanced projects and lots of fun to boot. However, the great bulk of programming students will end up mostly doing OOP with languages like Java or C++, starting with the very next CS class they take. It makes more sense to begin with skills that are more like typical programming than to start with a paradigm that most students will never work with after CS 1 is over. Functional programming and LISP are better left for those who have already mastered the basic skills. This book is designed to be used with the free PLT Scheme package, produced by the same group that wrote the book. PLT Scheme is a very good mini-IDE on the usual LISP pattern, mixing a compiler and an interpreter surprisingly seamlessly (you'll understand how this works after you use it a little bit.) Unlike the other free LISP packages, PLT is at home in MS Windows, it does not try to simulate a UNIX environment. Skip this book, but get PLT Scheme anyway.

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