22 February 2019

Flashcard Madness: The Little Schemer

On my journey into the Scheme Programming Language I am currently reading The Little Schemer (4th edition) by Daniel P. Friedman and Matthias Felleisen. I started reading because of it was recommended by different sources. It is a fun little book. Its style is quite unusual as it is written as a series of questions, which force you reflect about the content along the way. It repeats the same steps again and again - a reminder of recursive concepts - which is forcing you to practice the concepts you just read about.

The book introduces Ten Commandments and Five Laws for the Scheme style of programming. The commandments are basic rules of working with lists and the laws define the API of used functions. Ray Grasso collected all the commandments and laws in his notes. What to you do when you have a list of rules? You study them! I like using flashcards to study short facts and created a set of digital flashcards for the Ten Commandments and Five Laws. The deck is in the Anki file format (apkg), which can be used with the Anki application under Windows and Android. There is a similar application AnkiApp for Mac OS and iOS.

The deck contains questions about the rules themselves, e.g. What is the 2nd Commandment? With answer use `cons` to build lists.. Then I derived questions which are more actionable, e.g. When recurring on a list of atoms, `lat`, ask two questions about it? With answer `(null? lat)` and `else`. I am not sure these cards are useful on their own, but they definitely helped me to commit the facts I learned from the book to my memory.

Download The_Little_Schemer.apkg here.

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