Suggested Readings: Programming Pearls

Jon Bentley — Programming Pearls — 2nd Ed, Addison-Wesley, 2000, 240 pp. ISBN 0-201-65788-0

(Buy at Amazon.com)

The central theme of this book is efficiency and economy of solutions of programming problems. However, if the book is globally interesting, it would greatly benefit from an update; the proposed programming style—independently of the gist of the solutions— is old school in many respects. The style should probably updated to take modern programming style into account, say, à la Alexandrescu and Sutter for C++.

Regardless, its reading remains useful and instructive. Each chapter presents ideas revolving around a similar theme (for example, data structure or program correctness) and is ended by a series of exercises, some of which are solved at the end of the book. The writing style, friendly and colloquial, hides the occasional profoundness of the topic discussed. Some ideas and solutions will have you scratch your head for a while (which is a good sign).

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