Issue No. 02 - February (1974 vol. 23)
P.J. Denning , Dept. of Computer Sciences Purdue University
This book will become a lethal weapon against skepticism toward the possibility of presenting programming as a precise discipline based on clear and simple principles. It treats what many regard as advanced topics in programming in so straightforward a manner, that there is little doubt that the "advanced topics" are in fact elementary notions. The material is presented simultaneously at many levels: the college sophomore will enjoy a hearty repast of solid conceptual and practical aspects of algorithm design, and the college professor or industrial professional will enjoy many morsels from the philosophy of programming to practical advice on the best uses of each language construction. The material is presented in a fast-moving, unadorned style, reminiscent in places of sketchy lecture notes; indeed, fully fourteen chapters appear in the first 124 pages. Every concept is backed by an example; I counted approximately 45 sample algorithms or programs in the text and about 25 more in the Exercises. The sample programs are masterpieces of clarity, exemplifying how invariant assertions can be embedded in comments to make understanding and verifying the programs as simple as possible. Wirth leaves little doubt as to the power of this technique, not merely by disoussing it but by doing it.
P. Denning, "B74-20 Systematic Programming: An Introduction," in IEEE Transactions on Computers, vol. 23, no. , pp. 222-223, 1974.