Masterminds of Programming features exclusive interviews with the creators of several historic and highly influential programming languages. In this unique collection, you'll learn about the processes that led to specific design decisions, including the goals they had in mind, the trade-offs they had to make, and how their experiences have left an impact on programming today. Masterminds of Programming includes individual interviews with:
Adin D. Falkoff: APL
Thomas E. Kurtz: BASIC
Charles H. Moore: FORTH
Robin Milner: ML
Donald D. Chamberlin: SQL
Alfred Aho, Peter Weinberger, and Brian Kernighan: AWK
Charles Geschke and John Warnock: PostScript
Bjarne Stroustrup: C++
Bertrand Meyer: Eiffel
Brad Cox and Tom Love: Objective-C
Larry Wall: Perl
Simon Peyton Jones, Paul Hudak, Philip Wadler, and John Hughes: Haskell
Guido van Rossum: Python
Luiz Henrique de Figueiredo and Roberto Ierusalimschy: Lua
James Gosling: Java
Grady Booch, Ivar Jacobson, and James Rumbaugh: UML
Anders Hejlsberg: Delphi inventor and lead developer of C#
If you're interested in the people whose vision and hard work helped shape the computer industry, you'll find Masterminds of Programming fascinating.
Federico Biancuzzi is a freelance interviewer. His interviews appeared on publications such as ONLamp.com, LinuxDevCenter.com, SecurityFocus.com, NewsForge.com, Linux.com, TheRegister.co.uk, ArsTechnica.com, the Polish print magazine BSD Magazine, and the Italian print magazine Linux&C.
Shane Warden is the Online Managing Editor at O'Reilly Media. He promotes free and open source software for O'Reilly's Open Technology Exchange. In practice, this means editing and researching. He is a co-author of The Art of Agile Development.
He has contributed to several projects including Perl 5, Perl 6, Pugs, and, these days, Parrot. Someday, he'd like to claim some responsibility for improving the quality of all software.
Comments about O'Reilly Media Masterminds of Programming:
So the IDEA is cool - ask programming language designers their thoughts, their failures and successes, etc. If someone invented a successful language, then they OUGHT to have some really interesting things to say.
Well, many of them do. But surprisingly, the more well-known designers like Stroup and Kernighan were not the most interesting. Plus, the designers of languages I knew were not necessarily more interesting than ones I didn't know.
The format of the book is to start asking the same set of questions, then sort of branch out from there. "How did you design ___ for debugging?" was a good all-around question. It separated the boring languages (AWK) from the exciting ones (Haskell). The Haskell folks said, "You don't need a debugger because you write correct programs together." Whether that state is actually true ... it certainly does punch your brain!
I also really loved the Objective C section, mainly because they talked about engineering large systems with it. And they really had experience doing it.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend