University of Virginia, Department of Computer Science
CS655: Programming Languages, Spring 2001

Manifest: Tuesday 6 February 2001
Assignments
Thursday, 22 February Problem Set 2

Readings

Read before Thursday's class:

Lambda Calculus

From what I've read, I get the impression this book was written in a rush, and with the purpose of cramming tons of nonsense and filler in just to have an excuse to present Scheme (a pathetic language). The authors claim to present a view of programming that's widely applicable, and state that top-down (i.e. procedural) programming is by far not the best way to think about programs abstractly. Well, they don't stick to their promise. They present a biased, one sided promotion of scheme as the best language out there. No attempt is made to make comparisons between functional languages like scheme and normal languages like C. The end result, you come out knowing scheme and a few boring applications of it, but can't apply any of it to real programming tasks. This proves this book is just a fancy concotion of some egghead professor who has no idea what happens in the real world. I found many explanations to be incoherent and contradictory. The whole approach is divorced from the computing practice. This is no 21 day book, in fact, you can spend 21 months on it and still not learn a thing, because there's nothing but worthless garbage here.

Amazon.com review of SICP (see other reviews)


CS 655 University of Virginia
Department of Computer Science
CS 655: Programming Languages
David Evans
evans@cs.virginia.edu