[plt-scheme] Re: plt-scheme type of language

From: YC (yinso.chen at gmail.com)
Date: Fri Dec 11 14:28:20 EST 2009


looks like Sigrid have provided quite a great feedback already.

I too found your book to be a gem and learned a lot in the proceses.  As
someone who is interested in functional programming extending into
programming languages, it is just the right type of introductory material
that gave me a lot of ah-ha moment.  I especially like the fact that it is a
journey book that took you through the process of discovery.  And anyone who
are already interested to learn more, I will heartily recommend them to read
the book.
But as you said below, this is not a book designed for your everyday
industrial developers who are just interested in the authoritative sound
bytes on type systems.

On Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 7:34 AM, Shriram Krishnamurthi <sk at cs.brown.edu>wrote:

> You also have a key insight, which is that the problem w/ that section
> of PLAI is not what IS there but what isn't.
> What is there is, I think, a fairly useful *academic* introduction.
> It was never intended for an industrial person to quickly get a gist
> of what is going on.  In a sense, it's written backwards: only after
> you understand what is happening are you given told what does and
> doesn't make sense, by which time (a) most people have stopped reading
> and (b) a few like you who haven't are now not clear what's a tree and
> what's the forest.  It is conceivable that putting the back up front,
> and then repeating it in technical detail, can have some value.

Unfortunately that's how most people consume information - they want the
executive summary, and only if the summary is intereting enough will they
dig deeper.

Furthermore, given how developers these days just google for answers on
sites like stackoverflow instead of buying books, the information will have
to be much more modularized and accessible just to compete with other false
information out there.  A PDF download is nice as a book format but it
doesn't easily allow deep links.

Also, while authoritative definition about type system will be interesting
to everyday developers, the other aspects of PL might not immediately
intrigue them, so it will help to pull it out of the bigger context and make
it an independent topic.

Perhaps a site with a few pages summarizing what type systems are, what they
do, what attributes describe them, and why strong typing makes no sense, and
then link back to PLAI for more in-depth information?  Of course, this is
just an idea.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.racket-lang.org/users/archive/attachments/20091211/08afeb32/attachment.html>

Posted on the users mailing list.