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4.0 out of 5 stars A short, but useful read
If I paid the full new price for this book, with it being so small I'd feel short changed, however:

It can be hard to make head or tail of functional programming coming from an object oriented world. This book makes a good attempt at using Java to describe the concepts of functional programming, and ultimately tries to get you to think in a more declarative and...
Published on 23 May 2012 by SES

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Guess I have to learn Scala after all...
When I saw this book on Amazon I thought I had a chance to learn why people get so excited about functional programming, before deciding whether to learn a real functional language. Unfortunately, it really is too superficial to add much to what I already knew from a brief time browsing Wikipedia and a few other online articles.

As the author admits in the...
Published on 21 Jan 2012 by Ben Waugh


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Guess I have to learn Scala after all..., 21 Jan 2012
When I saw this book on Amazon I thought I had a chance to learn why people get so excited about functional programming, before deciding whether to learn a real functional language. Unfortunately, it really is too superficial to add much to what I already knew from a brief time browsing Wikipedia and a few other online articles.

As the author admits in the preface, some topics are not discussed because they are difficult to represent in Java, so the book covers only a few of the important aspects of functional programming. Some of these, such as the emphasis on immutable objects, are useful even in Java, but are already well known from books like "Effective Java". Others, such as recursion, are generally useless in Java because it lacks the appropriate optimisations. While I can see, from other sources, why recursion can simplify code, this does not come across in this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A short, but useful read, 23 May 2012
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If I paid the full new price for this book, with it being so small I'd feel short changed, however:

It can be hard to make head or tail of functional programming coming from an object oriented world. This book makes a good attempt at using Java to describe the concepts of functional programming, and ultimately tries to get you to think in a more declarative and 'functional' manner when approaching programming problems. Therefore there is a lot of talk about concepts like concurrency and abstraction, with relatively small code snippets which I think is why it has got some negative reviews. But it is concise and I think reads pretty well. Contrary to what you might think you can use a lot of functional concepts in Java with the libraries presented in this book, without the need to take up another specifically functional language.

But it certainly isn't a book about a particular technology which you can learn and say 'now I know functional programming'. It is a good intro though.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong choices, sketchy definitions, poor read, 30 Sep 2011
A classical objection Java programmers (and programmers of other languages) have against functional programming is the abundance of recursion. In Java it makes perfect sense to try and avoid it as much as possible. The title of the book suggests that it will teach you to bridge the conceptual gap and help you translate common recursion patterns to structures better suited for Java, i.e. loops / iterators / etc. This is just an example of a wrong choice (he actually uses recursion in almost all his Java code, even though he comments it doesn't optimise).

Definitions of central concepts (lists, category theory, monads, concurrency) are sketchy at best. Some are downright incorrect (lazy evaluation; his definition is that of non-strictness). Oftentimes I couldn't help but be under the impression that the author is convinced it's more important to sound intelligent than it is to be to-the-point. This would normally only be considered a stylistic problem, but in this case it leads to confusion, ambiguity and incorrectness.

Java programmers that want to know what all the fuss is about would do better getting a simple introduction text (e.g. Graham Hutton's Programming in Haskell), working through that in a few days (at most) and applying the concepts in a world they know all too well.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful intro through the lens of Java, 4 Aug 2011
A personal take on functional programming in terms of the Java language. Keeping the book small was a great idea, as it's just about the right size to communicate the style of functional programming so you can decide if it's something you want to pursuit (probably in a different language).

This is the book for you if you code in Java, you've heard of functional and want to know what the fuss is about, but you only want it in terms of the constructs of Java that you already know.
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