Realm of Racket: Learn to Program, One Game at a Time! (英語) ペーパーバック – 2013/6/25
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Racket is a descendant of Lisp, a programming language renowned for its elegance, power, and challenging learning curve. But while Racket retains the functional goodness of Lisp, it was designed with beginning programmers in mind. Realm of Racket is your introduction to the Racket language.
In Realm of Racket, you'll learn to program by creating increasingly complex games. Your journey begins with the Guess My Number game and coverage of some basic Racket etiquette. Next you'll dig into syntax and semantics, lists, structures, and conditionals, and learn to work with recursion and the GUI as you build the Robot Snake game. After that it's on to lambda and mutant structs (and an Orc Battle), and fancy loops and the Dice of Doom. Finally, you'll explore laziness, AI, distributed games, and the Hungry Henry game.
As you progress through the games, chapter checkpoints and challenges help reinforce what you've learned. Offbeat comics keep things fun along the way.
As you travel through the Racket realm, you'll:
- Master the quirks of Racket's syntax and semantics
- Learn to write concise and elegant functional programs
- Create a graphical user interface using the 2htdp/image library
- Create a server to handle true multiplayer games
Realm of Racket is a lighthearted guide to some serious programming. Read it to see why Racketeers have so much fun!
Professor Matthias Felleisen is one of the original authors of the Racket language and a co-author of The Little Schemer and How to Design Programs. In 1995, Felleisen launched the TeachScheme! Project, reaching out to high schools with a radically novel computing curriculum. Felleisen is the 2012 recipient of the ACM Special Interest Group on Programming Languages (SIGPLAN) Lifetime Achievement Award as well as ACM's 2009 Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award. He is currently a Trustee Professor in the College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.
Conrad Barski has an M.D. from the University of Miami and nearly 20 years of programming experience. The author of Land of Lisp, Barski is also an avid cartoonist, having created the popular alien Lisp mascot and many graphical tutorials.
David Van Horn is a research professor who has programmed in Racket and Scheme for over a decade.
Eight students of Northeastern University contributed to Realm of Racket: Forrest Bice, Rose DeMaio, Spencer Florence, Feng-Yun Mimi Lin, Scott Lindeman, Nicole Nussbaum, Eric Peterson, and Ryan Plessner.
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The problem, especially with those who hate it, is that lambda calculus, recursion, and multiple paradigm (imperative, functional, logical, etc.) models mean that each sentence is an adventure in study, not reading. IOW, I stopped highlighting when I realized I was highlighting the whole page!
This awesome new Racket gem makes Abelson an unprecedented one-two punch if you REALLY want to understand some of the hottest new concepts in programming-- at a 30,000 foot level, yet with a TON of fun, down to earth exercises. Lisp has evolved as the second oldest (months after FORTRAN) language that is not only still in use, but still producing new dialects, as this book demonstrates! I mean, a data structure not of hashes and trees but of LISTS??? You'll learn to your amazement how lists can even handle multiprocessor and concurrent computing nightmares with recursion that would defy the most agile trees. Talk about ancient and up to date at the same time!
The coolest thing about Racket, and even Scheme and Common Lisp, is that you can create your own "complete" programming environment, in this case to play with art and games, including compilers and interpreters! C# started with some multi paradigm elements and is now even adding functional programming, but being part of the .net family, there are limits. Yes, you can design a GUI AND a game in C#, but Racket allows you to create an entire programming universe from o/s to environment, SDK, compiler, GUI, language, libraries... all virtually!
If you look at a typical coding interview, you'll have the "solve this phony, contrived problem" on the whiteboard. Yet four of the hottest career areas in IT AREN'T in specific language coding (so much of it is being outsourced to India, China and Russia)-- they are in management of: 1. Data Science 2. Embedded Systems 3. Networking 4. Sploits.
There even is a new "CTO" type job-- CDSO, for "Chief Data Science Officer." These management, team leadership and high level positions don't require you to create a list prioritization algorithm on the whiteboard in C# in half an hour, but they DO require you to understand how systems from the machine and network levels relate to solutions in choice of languages, software and --especially-- paradigms.
In talking with programmers and engineers all day who submit new software for patents, I'm astonished at how many got all the way through even grad school (including Stanford and MIT) without taking a single paradigm class! They can generally tell you which apps work better with trees vs. arrays, but at a high level, why to choose functional vs. imperative is often really foggy.
Solution: PLAY WITH RACKET, then read Abelson! Even if you're an autodidact, this awesome and up to date Lisp text is perfect for self study when carving out your own dream job or starting your own practice. The authors are teachers par excellance, and the pedagogy is beyond painless-- you're half way through recursion vs. iteration before even knowing you've learned it! And while you're at it, you are playing with components and paradigms in ways you've never tried before even if you're a Lisp jock-- because this text takes the time to INCLUDE imperative and logical options. This is possible because Racket moves a little toward OOP just as C# (3.0 and up) has moved a little toward functional, including many steps beyond Scheme.
For those who feel Lisp is out of date or a "has been" (never mind that Lisp invented garbage collection and even presaged early oop (data/object/call/argument units) and that binaries and other newer data structures are coming back around to lists in some of the hottest research, even IN imperative), I guarantee that this book will dispel your doubts! And, if you tried Abelson, loved it, but was missing half the points (I sure was), try Racket first--Abelson won't become easy, but it will, as Abelson said himself as his primary objective, make it a LOT more fun.
Be SURE to get the second edition of Abelson, however, as he completely reoriented it around a new central theme crucial today to multiprocessing-- the time/memory challenge. You can get Ableson 2ed (see link in first paragraph) used at a great price now. I give it as a gift to programmer friends, and this new Racket text would make a great gift too! This author also wrote the awesome Little Schemer book (The Little Schemer - 4th Edition) which is another excellent adjunct to Abelson.
EMAIL ANSWER: A new lisper asked if this book will help with things like closure. Absolutely! In fact, lexical (or functional) closure, when combined with environments, binding and defun/define macros ARE oop at a very basic level, except that they REQUIRE garbage collection. Let Over Lambda (LoL) is "the" closure book, but Racket gives many more practical tips and uses than that "heavy" text (no comparison really, this book is pure enjoyment, LoL requires two double shot starbuck ventis per sentence-- NOT for beginners). Q. How can other languages implement closure? A. Technically C can't due to no garbage collection (hence no fast and unlimited stack vs. heap options, especially since it and C++ are stack based), but C# and many others can.
Although anonymous methods ARE NOT closure, they offer "closure analogs" like callbacks and blocks (in C and C++ for you circuit folks), Local classes in Java, Delegates, and after 3.0, even lambda expressions in C# (do NOT use closure if a lamda will work more simply), overloading operators, etc. Scheme/Racket/Lisp/Clojure... jocks will argue that the differences between oop and functional are semantic, because 1 macro can take care of inheritance, and object orientation is another word for a LISP list function combining procedure and state, and with closure, can easily duplicate the entire oop benefit. Macros are essentially functions that return lists as this book will teach us, but since those lists can just as easily contain code as data, as well as environments and bindings, the "oop" concept was either anticipated, subsumed, or invented by Lisp decades ago, depending on your point of view!
The whole point of learning Racket, at a deep level of understanding paradigm fits in addition to the fun apps in this book, is about time and memory and really "getting" high level (but deep and detailed) program and systems engineering, in many more aspects than most programmers encounter. Stack vs. heap based eventually becomes a sticky wicket for all programmers and engineers, especially with today's concurrency challenges. Look at Erlang-- it dances so easily between functional and imperative because it uses BOTH stack and heap! Besides, lists are way more intuitive and fun ds's (in my biased and elderly opinion) than trees, hash tables, binaries, etc.-- even ON the whiteboard!
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It is a very good introduction to the language. If you have to take Northeastern's CS5010 and work threw this book before starting the course, you will be 2 steps ahead of most other students. The book was not designed for this course but is still a good reference for the course. It uses some things not allowed in the course and the course covers more than what is in the book. Even if you did not use the book before starting the course it is still worth reading at times.
coding style and functional programming. I'm sure it didn't dive into many of the advanced ideas on the topic, but it was fun and enough to get me started doing some functional programming. Very fun. Very well written.