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abudden (2) [Avatar] Offline

Just bought the MEAP for Nim in Action (V05) and I noticed the request for feedback, so here's my feedback from my first read (I've only read the first 2 chapters so far). It's really good and very readable; I learnt a lot and my understanding has improved significantly. Looking forward to having time to keep reading!

  • Page 3, paragraph 2 - "garbage collector. Which" - should be "garbage collector, which"

  • Page 8, paragraph 2, first sentence. Again the full-stop should be a comma (and the sentence is too long so could probably so with removing the "such as" clauses).

  • Page 7, "Compilation" section - should this mention C++ (as this is necessary for C++ libraries)?

  • Page 8 paragraph 3 - should this really be "C and C libraries" and "C and C header files" - presumably the reference is to C++?

  • Section 1.1.1 - another amazing feature that I was really impressed by was the ability to do compile time execution of arbitrary Nim code (which I guess is a subset of metaprogramming). This enables simple (but very useful) things like:

  • const changeset = staticExec "hg id -i"

  • Table 1.1 - to be fair, it would be reasonable to mention which version of python is used here as python 3 (in my tests) is significantly quicker than python 2. Also might be interesting to compare to pypy which is reported to be the fastest python implementation (at least for complex programs).

  • Page 15, "Nim stands on its own" - this was one of the main reasons I started looking at Nim; maybe consider adding a simple table showing the size comparison for your fibonacci program in Nim (in my tests on Windows, the Nim version compiled to circa 500 kB whereas a python version compiled to circa 12 MB)

  • Page 18, listing 1.7, point 1 description. Nothing between the two commas: "the map, , and split procedures respectively"

  • Page 19, paragraph 4. "While Nim does take a lot of inspiration from Python. They..." - should be "Python, they"

  • Page 38, 2.2.1. "manual available at" is very badly typeset

  • Page 40, code example at the top of the page. The numbering is wrong - the lines are numbered 1, 2, 3, 3, but the description shows "Both of these" for 1 rather than 3

  • Page 40, first paragraph. Possibly worth mentioning that the 2 spaces thing isn't enforced so copying-and-pasting code from the web may cause problems if it is indented differently (and it's relatively difficult to auto-indent to correct due to the lack of braces)

  • Page 43, last paragraph. 1019 is missing the superscript.

  • Page 43. In the int section, you list the details of the size of the integers. Might be worth mentioning the default size of float here

  • Page 46, first paragraph, last sentence. Maybe clarify this by saying it can be done if really necessary by concatenating triple-quoted and single-quoted strings (with escaped quotes)?

  • let f = """abc
    """ & "\"\"\"" & """
    """ # Note that new-line at start of final """ is removed!
    echo f

  • Page 55, "the anonymous procedure is highlighted in bold" - it's in italics, not bold.

  • Page 55 "syntactix" instead of "syntactic" in one place.

  • Page 56, top line. Again: italics, not bold (bold would be clearer)

  • Page 59, paragraph starting "Accessing the items". Is there a reason that this isn't picked up by the compiler in this example? A static analysis tool for C would detect this and I'd hope that Nim's compiler would too.

  • Page 64, nested looping statements. Can you use labels with continue as well as break?

  • Page 64, iterators. Is it worth mentioning that multiple yield statements in an iterator can result in inefficient code?

  • Page 66, "will display a a stack traceback" (two "a"s)

  • Page 67, "branches'" should be "branch's"

  • Section 2.6 - should this discuss finally as well as except?

  • dom96 (75) [Avatar] Offline
    That's a lot of feedback. Thank you!

    I will go through it all and make the necessary fixes ASAP.