Programming Scala: Scalability = Functional Programming + Objects Paperback – 14 Dec 2014
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Scalability = Functional Programming + Objects
About the Author
Dean Wampler, Ph.D. is a Consultant for Typesafe, where he specializes in helping clients succeed with Scala and Functional Programming projects. He works with "Big Data" tools like Hadoop, Spark, and Machine Learning libraries, and Reactive tools like Akka and Play. Dean is an O'Reilly author and a frequent conference speaker and organizer. He has a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Washington.
Alex Payne is Platform Lead at Twitter, where he develops services that enable programmers to build atop the popular social messaging service. Alex has previously built web applications for political campaigns, non-profits, and early-stage startups, and supported information security efforts for military and intelligence customers. In his free time, Alex studies, speaks, and writes about the history, present use, and evolution of programming languages, as well as minimalist art and design.
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In general, this book is great and very thorough. The authors went into a lot of detail on many topics. I would highly recommend this book to anybody. However, I'm partly saying that because the scala-lang website documentation is old, insufficient, and completely out of order.
That being said, there are some parts that are far more confusing than they need to be. The author has a bad habit of showing you a feature in scala long before he explains it, and that is why I decided to give this four stars instead of five.
Chapters four (pattern matching) and five (implicits) were especially difficult to follow because the authors kept using language features before they explained them. I had to read each of those chapters twice before I understood them.
- They show you implicit type conversions a whole ten pages before they explain them (shown on page 139, explained on page 149). So of course I spent a half hour trying to understand the example before giving up.
- They start using '+:', ':+', and '::' in chapter four before they explain them.
- They use infix notation for types long before explaining it.
- Their explanation of "<:<" and "implicitly" still confuses me now, after reading that section several times.
Another thing that really bugs me is the obvious bias that the authors have for functional programming, ignoring some major flaws it has that any java veteran would see.
However, I should base my rating on how well you could learn scala the language from this book. Like I said, it goes into pretty deep details on most topics, so you could become a scala master from this book.
Now on to the review of this book. As other not-so-positive reviews has mentioned: this book goes to the deep end way too quickly, introducing advanced concepts without much explanation and by the time it finally (tries) to connect the dots, the reader is already drowned in confusion and frustration. Just an example, it introduces Akka actors in the beginning chapters. Yes, I know! The very essence of Erlang thrown right on your face when you barely went through the book's "hello, world" example! It kind of feels like Tom Cruise's character in "Edge of Tomorrow" on his first day on the battle; you're sent to kill these horrific-looking Cthulhus when you can't even disengage your weapons safety switch.
Scala is a *difficult* language as it is already, with all of its nuances and enough syntactic sugar to cause diabetes, and this book does not help so much in getting the reader learn at a good pace. I literally found myself reading sections more than twice trying to decipher what I've just read. I felt dumber every time I put the book down to resurface.
The authors are clearly smart and are Scala experts. I think this book's failure is mainly due to terrible editing/organization and not establishing who really its intended audience is: is it a Scala beginner's book or a Java-developer-transitioning-from-imperative-to-functional-book? I believe it would have been more successful if it focused on the latter.