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am 5. August 1999
Try my SICP simulator. Close your eyes and have someone kick you in the teeth. This will be a good approximation to how you'll feel when readint this book.
Nothing makes sense. It's not the material that's tough, it's the authors' dull and pedantic style, and total lack of consideration for the needs of the student.
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am 7. Dezember 1999
The book is just that, a big bore. It's too confusing for beginners, and it'll put to sleep anyone who knows a little somthing about computer science. I would agree that some of the general topics presented are important, but how they are presented is a disgrace to computer science. Instead of talking about relevant ideas in compiler and language design, authors try to implement a scheme interpreter in scheme. The material was completely divorced from the real world. I showed it to my buddy, doing a Ph.D. in compiler design, and he laughed long and hard at the whole chapter 4, which also manages to completely mispresent databases and query languages. Being a grad student in computer engineering, I found something to scoff at in chapter 5 & 3, where they give a backwards presentation of assemblers, digital circuits, and circuit simulators.
Come to think of it, the only worthwhile material was in chapter 2 & some of chapter 3, but that was on data structures, and Cormen's "Algorithms" is infinitely better.
My impression is, and others have suggested, that the goal of this book was self gratification for the authors. They wanted to have a book with all kinds of stuff in there, that would be used by copycat instructors all over the world to confuse beginners and bore knowledgeable students. This book would get the prize for the most obfuscated computer science book.
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am 13. Januar 2000
There's no useful material here, whatever your level of sophistication. Beginners will find that Scheme, and the book's approach in general are confusing. Those who are advanced will find the text is full of bull, and a book like "Introduction to Algorithms" by Cormen et.al. will provide you with many more theoretical and practical topics alike, but it's advanced (and hence more interesting than SICP drivel). If you are a beginner, "C++ how to program" by Deitel will teach you all about object oriented and top down programming, plus you'll learn the C++, the most common language out there.
Whatever is presented, is of such poor quality, and so dry, I couldn't stay awake long enough to finish my assignments. You can learn how to be a good programmer from any computer science course or text, and there are only several sections about that in this book. If you are looking for interesting theoretical ideas, look for other texts, such as the ones mentioned above.
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.
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am 6. April 2000
There are many things wrong with this book, but perhaps the worst is its shameless lying when the authors promise you profound knowledge of computer science and end up delivering a cheezy promotion of Scheme. They only concentrate on aspects of programming as it involves Scheme and don't make any effort to teach computer science as an art or as a science. They don't teach anything that's applicable in general, or will give you better understanding of the issues involved in writing good software. All they do is present trivial topics such as basic data structures and programming example, and it's all using Scheme. I ended up learning Scheme and nothing else.
There are plenty of other good books which cover the art of programming so generally that you'll find information useful in any programming project. For example: Cormen, Leiserson, Rivest "Introduction to algorithms", Knuth "The art of computer programming" (3 volumes) ... these are all highly regarded books. All I hear about SICP from students and professors alike is that they wish the book ceased to exist.
Don't listen to the others on this page...the book won't teach you to be a better programmer, and it won't teach you how to understand programs. It'll simply waste a lot of your time.
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am 27. Juni 2000
Als Informatikstudent mußte ich im Fach Algorithmik die Programmiersprache Scheme und C lernen. Wo andere Unis schon mit C beginnen und schon im Grundstudium mit Java anfangen, geht meine Uni halt noch Ihrem alten Weg. Als Pflicht- und Klausurrelevante Lektüre war dieses Buch dann auch mein ständiger Begleiter. Der Anfang bringt die Programmiersprache Scheme einem sehr verständlich nahe. Man merkt es kaum, auch die elementaren alorithmischen Lösungen werden mit dieser veralteten Sprache erklärt. Man erhält einen hervorragenden Einblick in Probemlösungen, jedoch bleiben Fragen, die Schweme nicht abarbeiteten kann ungestellt und unbeantwortet. Das Buch wird ab der Mitte zu spezifisch und man fragt sich für wen oder was diese Informationen und detailierten Elemente interssant sein können, zumal es auf rudimentäre Systemlösungen eingestellt ist.
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