With a mighty <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
email@example.com uttered these wise words...
> Many people don't care about learning programming at the level of
> SICP; they simply want to get some particular problem done quickly.
> You may frown on them, but hands-on books like "Learn XYZ in 21 Days",
> "Writing CGI Scripts in XYZ", "Neural Networks in XYZ", "Database
> Programming in XYZ", and "GUI Apps in XYZ" are very useful to lots
> of people.
Yes, most people won't be as interested as I am in comiler theory.
That's one of those YMMV type things. The same goes for every other
kind of tutorial, which is why I mentioned K&R. Not everyone will
appreciate the difference between integers and pointes, so a book that
makes that point clear _may_ be better than another, which lets a
programmer think that tricks with pointers may be more "portable" than
they at first seem.
Some programmers might not be concerned with writing portable code at
all! However, I've used enough C compilers on enough different
machines to appreciate this issue. Even when you know which CPU and OS
you're using, and the compiler vendor, changes in the language itself
can trip you up. It's not for nothing that the C++ compiler I've use
most during the last year will give you "new behaviour" warnings, when
you give it code that earlier versions of the same compiler just
accepted without comment.
> Since I write software that is used by other people, the existence of
> such books is an important consideration when picking an extension
> language, because it saves me considerable time when documenting what
> I did when I can simply point at existing books for a lot of the
If I had the time, I'd write a "Lisp for Dummies" book. At least, I'd
attempt it. The result probably wouldn't get published, as I doubt
that I can communicate at that kind of level - not without a dummy to
test it on. Still, if I did do it, and failed, I could just put the
text in my homepage, where anyone can read it.
CGI scripts...now there's something I can write about. I might even be
able to find some "dummies" to proof read it - if I can pursuade them
to find the time. Alas, these are the people least likely to believe
that they _have_ the time for such things, and they won't know
otherwise until they read it, assuming that it _is_ readable etc.
Hmm. Watch this space...
<URL:http://www.wildcard.demon.co.uk/> You can never browse enough
Martin Rodgers | Programmer and Information Broker | London, UK
Please note: my email address is gubbish.