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Lisp in Small Pieces
 
 
Lisp in Small Pieces (Paperback)
by Christian Queinnec (Author), Kathleen Callaway (Translator) "THIS chapter introduces a basic interpreter that will serve as the foundation for most of this book ..."  (more)
(3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 94.40 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping . Details

Availability: Usually ships within 10 to 13 days. Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca .


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Book Description
This is a comprehensive account of the semantics and the implementation of the whole Lisp family of languages, namely Lisp, Scheme and related dialects. It describes 11 interpreters and 2 compilers, including very recent techniques of interpretation and compilation. The book is in two parts. The first starts from a simple evaluation function and enriches it with multiple name spaces, continuations and side-effects with commented variants, while at the same time the language used to define these features is reduced to a simple lambda-calculus. Denotational semantics is then naturally introduced. The second part focuses more on implementation techniques and discusses precompilation for fast interpretation: threaded code or bytecode; compilation towards C. Some extensions are also described such as dynamic evaluation, reflection, macros and objects. This will become the new standard reference for people wanting to know more about the Lisp family of languages: how they work, how they are implemented, what their variants are and why such variants exist. The full code is supplied (and also available over the Net). A large bibliography is given as well as a considerable number of exercises. Thus it may also be used by students to accompany second courses on Lisp or Scheme.

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Customer Reviews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Very, very good. , Jun 15 2001
Reviewer: A customer
An unexpectedly good book.

If you're interested in implementation choices for Scheme and the Lisp family of languages, this is an amazing book. Its worth reading even if you never plan to implement a Lisp interpreter and just want to learn a bit of theory and history behind these languages.



 
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
The best book available on Lisp implementation , Dec 22 1999
By  Peter Norvig (Palo Alto, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is an excellent book on Lisp implementation. You'll get a lot out of it, whether you are interested in writing compilers and interpreters (for Lisp or any language) or whether you just want to see how Lisp works. It is the modern day successor to Allen's "Anatomy of Lisp".



 
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Good book on functional languages. , Nov 28 1999
By  Ray Dillinger (San Francisco Bay Area) - See all my reviews
This is the English Translation of a book originally published in French, under the title _Les_Langages_Lisp_.

In it, Quinniec covers a variety of different approaches to interpretation and compilation. Typically, an idea is presented with a chapter discussing the issues related to it -- then in the following chapter, a compiler or interpreter that implements it correctly. He covers compilation to C, compilation to bytecodes, direct interpretation, token-reduced interpretation, denotational semantics, lambda-calculus, continuations, macros, and an object system. It's well-written and engaging, and unlike some translations, the English is handled very well. The primary language being considered (and used) is Scheme -- arguably the easiest LISP dialect to implement and the hardest to implement well.



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