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  Donnerstag, 12. Januar 2006

The ACM launched an initiative to revive classic, out-of-print computer science books last autumn; the intention is to make the full text freely available to members. In order to select which books to include, the Association asked its members to first nominate books, then campaign for them and finally vote for their inclusion in the program.

Especially interesting are the comments collected in a Wiki (recent changes) as part of the campaigning phase, e.g. Larry Tesler's (who, among many other things*, designed Object Pascal with Niklaus Wirth) on Ken Iverson's A Programming Language:

"The book that Iverson wrote pulled you in to his way of thinking step by step, in a painless fashion. But by the end, your mind saw possibilities it had never contemplated before."

And on Guy Steele's Common Lisp the Language:

"As much as I dislike the over-designed Common LISP language and library, I understand the standardization benefits that it brought. But my highest praise for Common LISP goes not to the language, nor to the standard, but to the weighty reference manual by Guy Steele. Whenever I wanted to know how to use a function, macro or formatting character, this book told me everything I needed, in precise but readable language, with examples. The author clearly loved the language. His descriptions made the benefits of each feature apparent. His consistent writing style made few assumptions about the prior knowledge of the user. Even a skeptic like me had to smile whenever I opened this classic reference."

Comments will be closed tomorrow (sadly), so if you have any experiences to share, please do so quickly.

* Among many, many, many other things.Guido van Rossum on the state of Python and his new job (2005-12-23-doubleG): "Python is big at Google. [...] [I]t's at a secure 3rd place after [create C++] and Java, and it's being used for everything from build tools to managing ads. Name your third-party Python module and someone at Google is probably using it. So this is an exciting environment -- I get to see first-hand what truly large-scale Python development is like, and where the pain points are."

"If it uses two-space indents, it's corporate code; if it uses four-space indents, it's open source." Strip Generator [ Ø P3K • ]
Generative art: draw-something [ Ø L-ODOR • ]
Gotta (re)read some: Classic Texts in Computer Science [ Ø LTU • ]Heinz Sundt verlässt die Telekom Austria.

Es berichten auch Standard und futurezone.

slauti 6170 days AGO
Being about 1 cultural layer removed my prima vista favorites of favortes in that list are F.C Hennie's "Introduction to Computability" which taught me a lot in olden times and the Mead Conway "Introduction to VLSI Systems", the great demystifier. ItC sadly seems to have no comments, but ItVS has quotations by Larry Tesler (fitting) and Dave Patterson (fitting even more).

chris 6170 days AGO
Once again, a whole new world ...

hns 6169 days AGO
Introduction to VLSI Systems hab ich mir jetzt mal bestellt, weil ichs auf gebraucht um 6.80 oder sowas gefunden hab, und weil sie mir als WInf sowas nie auf der Uni beigebracht haben. Aber die Verkäuferin hat gemein das Ding hat über 1000 Seiten. Wann soll ich das nur lesen?

slauti 6167 days AGO
Offensichtlich haben sie das wiki doch nicht zugesperrt und Larry Tesler gehört sowieso viel mehr beachtet.

Ein kleiner Linkvorschlag für das Carver Mead snippet: Bitte, bitte reintun.

chris 6166 days AGO
Thanks a lot for pointing to the Spectator interview again!

BTW, you're most welcome to add anything you deem fitting to any snip; lcom is a Wiki not only in form but also in intention ;-)

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