Springer and Scala


I need to learn the Scala programming language. Unfortunately the University of York’s library does not seem to have an electronic copy of “Programming in Scala” (Amazon link) but it did have an electronic copy of  Springer’s “A Beginner’s Guide to Scala” (Amazon link). But this is a very poor book, referring back to examples that don’t exist, offering a very confusing explanation as to what object-orientation is and, to cap it all, illustrating examples with pseudo code rather than Scala itself.

Of course, it’s not the worst example you’ll find from Springer – “Unleash the System on Chip using FPGAs…” is easily the worst book I have ever seen in print (see my review on Amazon here) – and, of course they also publish many useful books and conference proceedings and so on. But they appear to have close to a monopoly on many aspects of computer science publications and use that ruthlessly.

If it wasn’t for other factors I’d suggest the European Commission needs to take a close look at them. Hardly worth it in the UK’s case these days though.

Next time you are told spelling and grammar matter…


…show them this photograph from a book that costs over seventy quid and just laugh…

English to die forActually I didn’t pay the full price for Unleash the System On Chip using FPGAs and Handel C – only shelling out about 1/20th of that, but that is no excuse for the publisher Springer who plainly have not let any editor anywhere near this.

Perhaps even more importantly, the technical sections of the book appear to be just as dire – with the C code printed in the same face as the body type (could not even be bothered to find a monospaced type) and utterly without indentation, making it difficult to follow and almost making it impossible to avoid any errors in transcribing if the code was to be reused even as a simple toy testbed.

Personally I am not too bothered – the book (in pristine condition) was dead cheap, but such shoddy work is a disgrace.