Please Vote: Exercises in TDPL?

Georg Wrede georg.wrede at
Fri May 15 03:48:33 PDT 2009

Andrei Alexandrescu wrote:
> A chunky fragment of TDPL will hit Rough Cuts soon enough. I'm pondering 
> whether I should be adding exercises to the book. Some books have them, 
> some don't.
> Pros: As I'm writing, I've come up with some pretty darn cool exercise 
> ideas.
> Cons: The book gets larger, takes longer to write, and I never solved 
> the exercises in the books I've read, but then I'm just weird.

Well, you're not the average reader. :-)

Reasons for including excercises

   o they're really needed for those who actually /study/ the stuff
   o K&R, Stroustrup, Knuth had them!! Nobody's ever complained
   o when reading stuff /new/ to you, they're needed
   o the only way to get schools and unviersities to use the book
   o make them well, and it'll double the value of the book
   o increases sales and revenue
   o some learn by doing, especially the not-supertalented
   o no excercises is an "obvious omission", attracts competitors

Reasons against excercises

   o they take longer to write, if done well
   o you may need to test some of the excercises on people
   o done sloppily they'll reduce the value of the book
   o the answers need to explain stuff, not only be a listing

The more people buy the book, the more money you get. And for us, the 
more D gets recognition inside and outside the academia, the better!!

As a teacher, I'd never choose one without excercises. (Hell, then I'd 
have to invent them all, not just some. If that's a chore to you, it 
sure is a drag for the teacher!)

IMO, it is *utterly* important that the book is usable in universities. 
The better universities pick it up, the others follow, and eventually we 
may have a chance of having D taught as the first computing language. 
(It certainly is better for that than the others, IMNSHO.)

People also tend to have a mother tongue, even with computer languages.

In 5..10 years, we want D to be *The* language, right?

PS: write in the preface that you'd love teacher comments. You won't 
regret it, come time for the second edition!! You'll want to /maintain/ 
the head start you got, by refining the quality.

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