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Re: reading material

From: Philip T. Ansteth
Subject: Re: reading material
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2004 12:38:26 -0600

I don't think the "Structure and Interpretation of 
Computer Programs" is a particularly good place to learn
Scheme.    And I don't agree that it's as good a book
as many people think it is.

About a year ago, I decided to learn Scheme in order to understand
more about Lilypond.    SICP was widely recommended and I shelled out
almost $100US for it and a lab manual.

After quite a lot of work on it--I've completed most of the
exercises in the the first 150 or so pages--I remain unimpressed.   So
far it is difficult without being correspondingly enlightening.

If you want to test your wits against its main audience--i.e., computer
science majors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology--then go for it.
Otherwise, look elsewhere.

I've gotten more practical help from the online tutorial "Teach Yourself
Scheme in Fixnum Days" at

The Guile tutorials are okay too.

I also don't care for "The Little Schemer."   It's kind of silly in
it's faux-dialog approach, and it's hard to review what you've already
been through.   And of what practical value is something called
"applicative order Y-combinator"?     

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