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Re: Readings in Scheme...

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  > Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2002 23:08:09 -0500 (EST)
  > From: Shriram Krishnamurthi <sk@cs.brown.edu>
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  > Brent,
  > The two classics in my training were SICP, which I saw my freshman
  > year, and EOPL, hot off the press, my junior year.  (Ironically, I
  > think the only Little book I've been able to finish is Java.)  

It shows. 

  > I might have stuck to what I liked most -- combinatorial algorithms -- but for
  > a chance visit to Indiana University, where Dan Friedman was kind
  > enough to spend his valuable time on a little runt (uh, me).  He gave
  > me several papers to read.  I'd never seen a paper before, but it was
  > clear they were magical.  Numbers are from memory, hence quite likely
  > quite wrong:
  > These papers are just as elegant today, and there is still very,
  > very much wisdom in them.  They forced me to switch to languages,
  > because it seemed impious to neglect so much beauty.

Yes, solid language training instills a deep sense of beauty from which you
will benefit for your entire life. 

  > I think many Schemers I know went through a similar path -- finding
  > the books exciting, but only getting truly hooked when they read a
  > paper of profound beauty or met a person who could get them there.
  > There's certainly some satori involved.  But now you know what to look 
  > for.
  > The way the legend is told, even Matthias Felleisen wasn't born
  > balancing parentheses.  Friedman takes credit for knocking sense into
  > him.  Of course, I would never say such a thing in a public forum,
  > where lots of people might read it.

Well, well. I was born programming in the first wide-spread language to
support recursion -- but I didn't get it. Then I discovered Prolog and 
I saw my first meta-interpreter. That was a seed -- and Scheme has yet 
to come close. Ever seen a Prolog interpreter in Prolog? So I did my 
homework in .. Prolog until I was told to use call/cc. And I figured out
that Prolog didn't have the expressive power of call/cc (another seed for a
paper) and rewrote all the assignments in that stupid parenthetical
language called Scheme. In other words, I wasn't smart enough to figure out
CPS for Prolog on my own while taking 20 hrs. Some of my current students
beat me there, well kinda when it comes to Store pasing at least. 

  > I hope to write a beautiful paper someday.

Okay, keep dreaming old man. 

  > Slipping into old fogey mode,
  > Shriram

-- Matthias, tongue bitten up from all the laughter :-)