[plt-scheme] Re: HTDP - evidently not for everyone.

From: Todd O'Bryan (toddobryan at gmail.com)
Date: Thu Feb 18 22:37:22 EST 2010

I would never presume to speak for Matthias, but I think the two
target different audiences.

HtDP was written as a textbook. It expects to be used in a class where
there's a professor who can pick and choose material and teach the
material in a dialogue format.

The Little Schemer is meant to be used by a single person who wants to
learn something on his/her own. It assumes a high level of motivation,
doesn't assume there's a professor or other students to talk to, and
eschews prose in favor of content, letting the language speak for

Could you write HtDP in the style of TLS? I'm not sure. I think HtDP
is all about the prose. When you break HtDP down to its fundamental
concepts, you could probably fit them on 20 pages. The problem is that
it would be really easy to miss a lot of the subtlety and beauty in
those twenty pages if you didn't know what to look for.

My guess is that when any of the authors or another old hand teach the
book, the notes students end up with are pretty compact. I know in my
class, at the end of a 60 minute lecture, students might have 1 or 2
pages of fairly sparse notes. It's the conversations about why we
decided to put what we put into the notes that's the important part.


On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 10:12 PM, Benjamin L. Russell
<DekuDekuplex at yahoo.com> wrote:
> On 2/19/10 11:56 AM, Benjamin L. Russell wrote:
>> Nevertheless, if there is to be an "HtDP light," then why not an "HtDP
>> advanced" as well?
> Actually, come to remember, this is in fact such a book:  _How to Design
> Worlds_ (see http://world.cs.brown.edu/) (my apologies to the authors for
> their work having slipped my memory).  Nevertheless, that book is essential
> a sequel to and companion volume for HtDP, and assumes knowledge of both
> Scheme and the design recipes from that work.
> Allow me to rephrase my question:  Is there an "HtDP à la _The Little
> Schemer_?"
> -- Benjamin L. Russell
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