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Modern Programming Languages: A Practical Introduction Paperback – Jul 28 2010

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Paperback, Jul 28 2010
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Amazon.com: 7 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Good for an undergraduate programming languages course Nov. 26 2011
By Peter Drake - Published on Amazon.com
I used this book teaching a course in programming languages structures at a small, liberal arts college in the northwestern USA (located not far from the publisher). I have generally been quite pleased with the text and plan to use it again.


- Just the right level of detail. There is enough here to let students do a few things in each of the three major languages covered, without overburdening them.

- Very clearly written, in a friendly style. Alternating between "practical" and "theoretical" chapters was a good decision. As a minor point, there are surprisingly few typographical errors.

- Relatively inexpensive, as these things go.


- Could use more exercises, but that's true of almost all textbooks.

- Some students argue that the title is a misnomer. Two of the languages covered in depth (ML and Prolog) are nearly 40 years old and not widely used or well supported. Perhaps Scheme would be a better choice for a functional language.
Not a good book April 22 2015
By James Pryor - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I don't mind exercises that ask me to do some of my own research, but as a student I have no clue if I'm on the right track. Several exercises are a stretch from the material in the chapter.

I was also disturbed by the part about Java being used in modern web browsers. This book is out of date, or it is confusing concepts (which is scary for a text book).
8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Outdated, poorly written, and poorly edited. Sept. 1 2012
By Joseph - Published on Amazon.com
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If by "modern" you mean languages that were invented in 1972, 1973, and 1991 then, by all means, this book contains modern programming languages. Back in the real world, however, ML and Prolog haven't been used for years; the list of languages they influenced in Wikipedia is almost as long as section dedicated to the languages themselves. If the theory behind these particular languages wanted to be taught, one of those "modern" equivalents could have been used instead with the bonus of actually being useful in today's world.

The book is is poorly written: the last chapter discusses the history of programming languages, and makes analogies to The Bible. In one section the author says language a beget language b beget language c, etc. He also traces the whole history of programming back to ancient Babylon; a vast stretch for anyone. These two things just doesn't make sense in the context of a programming textbook.

My third complaint is poor editing (I don't want to accuse the author of not knowing what he is talking about, although that could be the case) an extract: "Java language systems usually compile to an intermediate code. A particular intermediate code, known as the _Java Virtual machine_, is supported by many different interpreters on many different physical machines. For example, almost every Web browser has an interpreter for the Java virtual machine." So many things are wrong with that... The JVM isn't an intermediate code, it is a Virtual Machine, as the name implies; much is wrong with Java, but they did get their terminology correct. Java Bytecode is the intermediate code. Plus web browsers don't have Java interpreters...JavaScript, yes, but for Java they use the standard JVM embedded, thus the reason for Java security issues.
Five Stars Feb. 16 2015
By FangLai - Published on Amazon.com
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
ok Dec 8 2013
By dans ltetravel - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Required textbook for school. Probably wouldn't have read it if is wasn't required reading material. Read it if you have nothing else on the shelf.