Cyber Surfer (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
|| 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.
Some of these Dummies books are unfortunately, not very good. Some
authors think that if you use "cool" language and sound hip, you are
talking to a dummy, even as they explain a fairly difficult concept.
But the nice thing is that the author writes the book with the dummy
in mind. Take Stroustrup's book on C++. For a long time, I've said
it's not a good book for dummies, but I hadn't seen the book in a long
time, so I had forgotten what kind of things is said. Having reread
just the first few pages recently, he makes comments that only an
experienced programmer would understand.
Winston wrote a book called Common Lisp, and he sort of has a
dummies style of writing. The headings of the individual sections
are often sentences. He keeps his sentences rather short. He
tries to use simple examples. But for all that, it still reads
more complicated than it seems it should. Sort of like someone
trying to explaing thermodynamics to kindergarterners in simple
language, but still being more-or-less technically precise. It's
still a little hard to follow. It shows up more in his book
"On to C++". I happen to like Touretsky's Lisp book better
even though it, too, is fairly elementary. It reads a little
better. Winston's book has more stuff in it overall, however.