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Re: Higher Order Perl

by chexmix (Hermit)
on May 18, 2007 at 17:42 UTC ( #616241=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Higher Order Perl

I hope this isn't too clueless a question: does this book require a lot in the way of high level mathematical knowledge? Every once in a while I run headlong into the doleful fact that I was deeply into mathematics all the way through high school ... and then became a reprobate, taking only one mathematics course in my arts-full college years (and not doing well because I had a "difficult quarter," emotionally, blecch). This is something I need to address, but obviously it will take some time. I graduated H.S. in 1979. So, in sum, am intrigued by the discussion of this book but want to make sure it won't be opaque to me (at least for the maths reason).

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Re: Higher Order Perl
by Dominus (Parson) on May 22, 2007 at 14:10 UTC
    I don't think you will find that a big problem. None of the main ideas of the book require any mathematical knowledge.

    Some of the examples are mathematical in nature. For instance, there is about twelve pages in chapter 6 that concerns using an infinite list object to represent a sequence of increasingly accurate approximations to the solution of a certain financial problem. People who have studied calculus will immediately understand the ideas here; people who haven't might understand them anyway, and even if you don't you can always skip those examples; most of them have nothing in particular to do with math.

    My own tendency is to write a lot of math stuff, because I find it very interesting, but while I was writing HOP I tried really hard to get rid of the mathematics, because I knew that a lot of people don't like it.

Re^2: Higher Order Perl
by Fletch (Chancellor) on May 18, 2007 at 19:01 UTC

    The hurdle's going to be more in getting your head around the functional way of thinking than any math knowledge. You don't need to be familiar with the lambda calculus, but you may have an uphill battle ahead of you if code using a couple chained map calls gives you fits.

      I had read somewhere that the books' explication was really clear ... maybe there is a better intro to functional programming out there ... ?

      F'rinstance I just ran across this.

        I read the Hudak book recently and was rather disappointed. It is easy to read, but I don't think it does a good job of getting across what is remarkable about Haskell. There is some discussion of it here which I hope might be helpful.

        I don't know a good Haskell book. I learned haskell by first learning SML (from Lawrence Paulson's book) and then by reading the Haskell language standard. I would not recommend this as an efficient or effective approach.

        This week I am going to read The Haskell Road to Logic, Maths, and Programming and see if I like it any better.

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