general thoughts

Alex Martelli aleax at
Fri Sep 20 10:18:19 EDT 2002

Eddie Corns wrote:

> If you want to learn "how it (computer languages) works" I suggest reading
> "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Languages" by Abelson and
> Sussman. This is about understanding the principles rather than how to do
> things in a particular language and is probably the best book on the
> subject.

I'll second this (well, third this, I guess, since P. Rubin recommended
the very same book independently in another post a while ago:-).  SICP
is the best book I know about the "deep principles" of programming.

I think you need substantial capacity and appetite for abstract thought
to really _enjoy_ SICP -- it doesn't spoon-feed you, nor does it use
baby-talk, lots of somewhat-repetitive examples, and other standard
didactical techniques.  But if the book's style does match your own
character and inclination, you're likely to fall in love with it.


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