The goal of The Reasoned Schemer is to help the functional programmer think logically and the logic programmer think functionally. The authors of The Reasoned Schemer believe that logic programming is a natural extension of functional programming, and they demonstrate this by extending the functional language Scheme with logical constructs—thereby combining the benefits of both styles. The extension encapsulates most of the ideas in the logic programming language Prolog.
The pedagogical method of The Reasoned Schemer is a series of questions and answers, which proceed with the characteristic humor that marked The Little Schemer and The Seasoned Schmer. Familiarity with a functional language or with the first eight chapters of The Little Schemer is assumed. Adding logic capabilities required the introduction of new forms. The authors' goal is to show to what extent writing logic programs is the same as writing functional programs using these forms. In this way, the reader of The Reasoned Schemer will come to understand how simple logic programming is and how easy it is to define functions that behave like relations.
About the Authors
Daniel P. Friedman is Professor of Computer Science at Indiana University and is the author of many books published by the MIT Press, including The Little Schemer (fourth edition, 1995), The Seasoned Schemer (1995), A Little Java, A Few Patterns (1997), each of these coauthored with Matthias Felleisen, and The Reasoned Schemer (2005), coauthored with William E. Byrd and Oleg Kiselyov.
William E. Byrd is a PhD candidate in Computer Science at Indiana University.
Oleg Kiselyov is a computer scientist from Monterey, California.
"The Little books are unique in the way they combine deep and subtle ideas with hands-on humorous presentation. The Reasoned Schemer, the latest book in the series, is no exception. Friedman, Byrd, and Kiselyov provide a unique presentation of many of the ideas behind logic programming, which is developed as a natural—though subtle—extension of functional programming. For perfecting your programming skills and style you cannot do better than sit at the feet of Friedman and Kiselyov."
—Ehud Lamm, Founder of 'Lambda the Ultimate,' the programming languages weblog
"Contrary to popular belief, logic programming doesn't always mean programming in Prolog. In this groundbreaking book, Friedman and Kiselyov extend Scheme to form a completely new kind of logic programming system, one which is in many ways even more elegant than Prolog. Written in the same classic question-and-answer format as the authors' previous book The Little Schemer, The Reasoned Schemer covers goals, first-class relations, interleaved and non-interleaved backtracking, the relationship between relational and functional programming, and much more. Reading this book will not only cause your geek rating to skyrocket and impress all the Cool Kids, it will also open your eyes to a paradigm of programming which most programmers are completely unaware of, but which will undoubtedly play a significant role in the programming systems of the future. More importantly, though, this book is great fun to read and will make you a better programmer."
—Michael Vanier, Caltech
"Some programmers are particularly fascinated by new ways of thinking about programming and computation. But few programmers have much experience with logic programming, and fewer still understand its essence. There has never been a more engaging presentation of this material, or a clearer view all the way to the bottom. Like the other Little books, this book is sure to broaden your horizons. And in fact, this one has the broadest horizons yet."
—Matt Hellige, Researcher, Accenture Technology Labs