Re: Scheme Programming Reference

Subject: Re: Scheme Programming Reference
From: Brandon Ibach <bibach@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 10:18:03 -0500
Quoting Sebastian Rahtz <sebastian.rahtz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>:
> Paul Tyson writes:
>  > I will argue it.  The "SGML Handbook" is and always will be the
>  > definitive reference work on SGML.
> I don't deny it. but you dont argue against my contention that it
> put a million people off
   Well, I have to maintain that that's no fault of Charles'.  Those
million people were probably just reading the wrong book.  As has been
said before, the Handbook is an excellent *reference* work.  It is
*not* "A Gentle Introduction to SGML".

>  > Handbook.  Although it's subject matter is much narrower, I place it
>  > alongside Knuth's "The Art of Computer Programming", Abelson's and
>  > Sussman's "The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs", and
>  > Hofstadter's "Goedel, Escher, Bach" among the most elegant treatments of
> ah, the great trio of "Yes I had a copy of that but never read it"
> books.
   That's a somewhat pessimistic outlook, eh?  I rank all three of
those in the "never had the money to buy or the time to check out of
the library", though I hope to read them all, one of these days.

>  > is there any chance someone can collect information from members of the
>  > ISO working group that created DSSSL? 
> wouldnt they say they put their collective wisdom into the standard?
> actually, I don't find it so bad. Its the presentation thats execrable
> (lack of indexing, running heads etc ).
   I can see the value of some additional material from the group such
as meeting notes and such, as they may well provide some insight into
design decisions, origins of certain ideas and concepts, etc.

> Maybe my dislike of Goldfarb relates to the design. I mean (taking
> copy from shelf and opening at random), is p 173 a dogs dinner or
> what? it looks like it was typeset using DSSSL :-}
   I can't comment much on the overall design, as I haven't seen the
book for a while, though I don't recall having any problem with it.  I
must say, however, that the "hyperlink" feature that he employed was
extremely cool, especially for my purposes of just looking at certain
sections without reading all the way from beginning to end and often
needing to just to related sections for background and clarification.

-Brandon :)

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