[plt-scheme] HTUS

From: Geoffrey Knauth (geoff at knauth.org)
Date: Sat Mar 25 07:51:58 EST 2006

Regarding what self-respective academics write, one of the things I  
love about Donald Knuth's writings is that he goes out of his way to  
make hard concepts accessible and enjoyable.  I take delight in  
getting 15 pages into one of his essays thinking, "I get it!", "I  
understand!", "Yea!"  The only problem is that in one sentence he'll  
suddenly lose me completely, but that's a problem with my brain, not  
his writing.

I think SICP is so popular because it succeeds in getting most  
readers through the whole book in one piece.

There's a lot of great Scheme documentation already out there.  I  
wonder if the next step is an interactive tutorial, game or quiz that  
presents concepts in small enough pieces that a knowledgeable person  
can just race through and feel like an Olympian, while a total newbie  
can take his time mastering hurdles?  Scheme is dynamic enough that  
it could create new puzzles each time, so that even the old hand  
would have a reason to come back for review.

I think a Ruby puzzles page appeared recently that attracts a lot of  
people.  In the same vein, Joshua Bloch is giving a NYJavaSIG talk at  
Google NYC in April on Java Puzzlers, and all indications are that  
talk is going to be packed.

On this PLT mailing list, many of the most interesting threads are  
puzzles about macros or syntax that challenge experts.  That's fun,  
if mind bending, but human PLT experts don't scale the way the web  
does, unless the Koreans do succeed in cloning Matthias and friends.

Geoffrey S. Knauth | http://knauth.org/gsk

Posted on the users mailing list.