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Seven More Languages in Seven Weeks: Languages That Are Shaping the Future Paperback – 29 Nov 2014
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About the Author
Bruce Tate, CTO of icanmakeitbetter.com, is a mountain biker, climber, and father of two from Austin, Texas. He is the author of more than ten books, including Seven Languages in Seven Weeks, and is the series editor of the Seven in Seven series.
By day, Ian Dees slings code, tests, and puns at a Portland-area test equipment manufacturer. By night, he converts espresso into programming books, including Cucumber Recipes. Ian tweets as @undees.
Fred Daoud is a truly passionate developer who loves functional programming. He coauthored Seven Web Frameworks in Seven Weeks with Jack Moffitt.
Jack Moffitt falls in love with languages easily. He is a senior research engineer at Mozilla Research and works on Servo, an experimental browser engine written in Mozilla's new Rust language.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
For example, on the chapter about Elixir the author assumes you already familiar with Erlang and how it works. I first learned about Erlang from the first Seven in Seven Languages book, but not enough to be fluent. Because of this, it was a bit hard to follow for me.
On the other hand, the chapter on Julia was right on the mark for me. I am familiar with scientific programming in Python, so I was able to compare the concepts much easier here and it was illuminating to learn some of the differences. I would have liked to see some more evidence to the claims that Julia is fast. It was mentioned repeatedly but no data to show.
The chapter on miniKanren was also really interesting to me. I was not very familiar with the term "logic programming" and I got a few ideas for research.
Each chapter has an interview with the author of the language. This was the best of book, but I did not understand why the interviews were so short (1-2 pages). It was fascinating to hear how the authors of the languages decided to create a new language. In many cases the language creator was unsatisfied with current technologies and starting by rolling their own solution.
Overall, this was another solid entry in the Seven in Seven series. A few chapters felt rushed though, and it was often difficult to keep up with the authors who are seasoned experts.
If you want to learn Lua you can skip SLSW2 and go straight for Roberto Lerusalimschy's Programming in Lua. Also, if you're looking for a lightning introduction to Julia, check out the tutorial by Learn X in Y. It is pretty clear that neither Jack nor Bruce are Matlab programers ;)
Finally, the book does indeed accomplish its primary goal of getting folks (me at least) excited about programing languages. Languages like Factor and miniKaren are pretty wild and a lot of fun to mess around with if for no other reason than to simply work the "wetware". And for that I give it 5 stars. Looking forward to SLSW3.
Both the selection of languages and their handling seemed to be much less convincing this time around. I have the distinct feeling of being milked for money, riding on the good reviews of the original one.
I was expecting more "mind-expanding" languages, but instead got warmed-up left-overs, of the rather hybrid current crop of languages. Not that all the languages presented were uninteresting, there just wasn't... anything that made me go "hmmm" or "aha!" in there. (Some background: I'm IT professional since the nineties, so I've seen and tried a few languages.)
Two stars for the effort and reasonable technical quality, but if it were just for the crushing disappointment, it would be one star.
I liked the book for the most part, for the reasons just given. It’s a great way to get exposed to different concepts and problem-solving approaches, as to what motivates the very smart people to make the effort to make such languages. As the book says, even if you go back to your original language, at least you have been exposed to approaches and concepts that might find their way into your current coding, or even just thinking.
The one criticism I have, and this applies to the first book as well, is that some of the points seem to be unnecessarily belabored, and other parts in which I’d like more time and explanation are skeletal and rushed through. That can be a bit frustrating, but Google is there to rescue you.
Again, I recommend this book to at least intermediate programmers. It will get your toes wet in a lot of current and important concepts, and hopefully broaden your mind and approach within your current language of choice.
Seven Languages in Seven Weeks: Languages in Seven Weeks
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