I was recently notified – somewhat to my suprise – that the Japanese publisher Ohmsha is publishing a Japanese translation of Practical Common Lisp which should now be avaliable in bookstores and on amazon.co.jp. I had known that there was a small group working on a translation but hadn’t realized they had found a publisher. My thanks to those translators and to Masako Omata at Franz who, as I understand it, did a fair bit of work to make it all happen. I got my copy in the mail the other day. Looks good though I can’t say much about the quality of the translation other than that it seems to contain quite a number of Japanese characters. I’ll be interested to hear from any Japanese readers what they think of it.
Archive for the ‘Practical Common Lisp’ Category
I wrote Practical Common Lisp because I felt that Common Lisp needed a new introductory book that could ease folks raised on other languages into Common Lisp and then show them what it’s really all about. Based on emails from readers, reviews on Amazon, word of mouth in the Lisp world, and the fact that the online version of PCL is the top hit when you Google for “lisp book”, I’ll say I succeeded tolerably well. So imagine my dismay when someone pointed out to me today the Google results for “lisp tutorial”.
The top hit is a page which apparently hasn’t been updated since around 1999 and isn’t really a tutorial anyway, so much as a large list of links including a link to the Hyperspec when it was hosted at harlequin.com.1 The next few “lisp tutorial” hits are — with all due respect — exactly the sort of dated, dry tutorials that inspired me to write Practical Common Lisp in the first place and to do a deal with Apress to allow me to keep it online even after the dead tree version was published. Practical Common Lisp doesn’t appear anywhere, as far as I can tell, in the results for “lisp tutorial”.
With that in mind I did a small bit of search engine optimization today to make sure that the phrase “Common Lisp tutorial” appears on the main page of the Practical Common Lisp web site. If you also think Lisp might be better served if PCL was at least one of the results returned to a would-be Lisper searching for a Lisp tutorial you can help out: if you have a web page where it would be reasonable to do so, consider linking to the url
http://www.gigamonkeys.com/book/ with a link text of “lisp tutorial” or “common lisp tutorial”. Yes, I’m asking you to participate in a Google bombing. But it’s for a good cause. Think of the children.
Update: Based on the first couple folks I’ve seen providing links to the PCL website (thanks, guys!) I must not have made myself quite clear enough. The name of the game in a Google bombing is for everyone to use the same text for the link. If you want to play along, your HTML should look like this:
<a href="http://www.gigamonkeys.com/book/">Common Lisp tutorial</a>
<a href="http://www.gigamonkeys.com/book/">Lisp tutorial</a>
I just found out that Apress has decided it’s time for a third printing of Practical Common Lisp. If I recall correctly, the first printing was 5,000 copies, the second 3,000 more. New printings are called for when the publisher thinks they’re going to run out of copies to sell to distributors so this must mean I’m not crazy to dream of someday having a 10k-copies-sold party.
This also means now would be a good time, if you’ve read the book and noticed any errors that you’ve not emailed me about, to send a note. If you put “pcl errata” in the subject it’ll make my life a bit easier. Note, however, that this is just a new printing not a new edition. For a new printing we just fix minor typos and so forth so now is not the time to tell me that there should really be a chapter about how to connect to RDBMSes or what have you.