SICP: the LFE Edition - Update
The LFE Edition of the historic Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (book, source) continues to make steady progress, including getting a new preface. This post is a teaser for additional posts which will appear here in the coming days. But first, here's how things stand so far:
- Chapter 1 is completed
- Chapter 2 is about half-way done
- There is a new (additional) preface for the LFE edition (more on that in the next post)
- To date, there have been 17,100 views of LFE SICP
- There have been 3,300 full reads of the book
- There have been 500 downloads of the eBook versions 1
As an LFE programmer, the most amazing thing to see is how extraordinarily well-suited LFE is to the task of teaching the material in SICP – more often than not, the LFE versions of the sample programs are more elegant, succinct, and expressive.2 For the most post, though, the text remains very much as it was in beauty of the original.
One significant exception we've made to this is the addition of a third preface. Though explicitly for the third (LFE) edition, it only discusses Erlang and LFE briefly. Instead, we have taken the opportunity to provide a personal touch to the history of Lisp's development via short biographies of a selection of mathematicians who made significant contributions to such developments as number and function theory, logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the λ‑calculus, and the Lisp itself.
Over the coming days, these will be posted in serial form on the LFE blog to share some of this information with a wider audience, and for the motivated and interested reader, to receive feedback on how we might make improvements to the LFE preface.
More is on its way …
We don't actually recommend the GitBook eBook downloads for SICP yet, as they do not have good support for LaTeX in the eBook versions; the web version, though, presents all of the LaTeX in its eye-popping, mathematical glory. ↩
The one exception of that, is of course, the fact that LFE is a Lisp-2 and not a Lisp-1 like Scheme; as such, function and lambda application is not as elegant in LFE as it is in the code from the first and second editions of SICP. ↩