Video of Alex Stepanov discussing the book and why it’s important: https://lobste.rs/s/ojsajd/elements_programming_2011
Probably the best book I have ever read on programming. Costs about $90 dollars on Amazon. They just released a free PDF.
You would have to really hate computers and programming not to get the PDF or pay the $9 for a paperback right now. Do it, do it now. I really can’t get more superliminal.
Your comment would be more helpful if you explained what’s good about it and what you got out of it.
FWIW I bought this book when it came out, probably as the result of similar cheerleading, and I didn’t find it very useful.
As far as I can tell it’s C++ STL abstracted away from a particular programming language, and maybe taken a little further. Ok that’s probably valuable but it doesn’t even crack the top 50% of useful or good programming books for me.
Sure, let me give you a more detailed story. It builds computation and what programming is from a set of axioms which they build on to demonstrate how to solve algorithmic problems. It’s the “euclid’s elements” of programming (hence the name).
It has by far the most beautiful code I have seen in any programming book. So not only does it give you a new way of thinking about programming, but it actually proves that it’s a great way to think by having real-world code.
The code in the book, by the way, IS a subset of C++ and does compile. Back of the book describes the subset. Turns out generic programming in C++ can lead to some nice concise and beautiful code.