1. 3

I wrote a review of LPTHW. I could imagine a book that made me happier than this, but it’s one of the more mechanically and pedagogically sound resources for learning to program that I’ve been able to find.

The main thing that struck me is the extent to which Zed leaves semantics completely implicit to the examples demonstrated, yet he bothers to comment upon and categorize syntax in much more detail. He and I have probably had different experiences teaching, but I’ve not found syntax to be a huge issue requiring a lot of special attention when teaching beginners. Repetition by making the learner write expressions and programs seemed to make the rules stick when I taught.

Anyone else have thoughts that aren’t about the turing completeness thing (which wasn’t in this edition of the book) or one of the other silly controversies that don’t have much to do with the book’s efficacy?


  2. 4

    Haven’t read it all, but I appreciated the point about saying no to vim or emacs. There’s definitely a trend where supposedly intro tutorials have this “how to create the perfect setup” aspect that wanders off into the weeds. Writing a pgp tutorial? Let’s start by creating 28 subkeys. Writing a ruby tutorial? Let’s start by installing 345 atom.io plugins. Etc.