Programming Books

3 Excellent Free Books to Learn Dylan

Dylan is a multi-paradigm programming language that includes support for functional and object-oriented programming (OOP). This language is dynamic and reflective while providing a programming model designed to support generating efficient machine code, including fine-grained control over dynamic and static behaviors.

Dylan uses an algebraic infix syntax similar to Pascal or C, but supports an object model not unlike the Common Lisp Object System (CLOS).

It was created in the early 1990s by a group led by Apple Computer.

Here’s our recommended books to learn this language.


1. Dylan Programming by by Neal Feinberg, Sonya E. Keene, Robert O. Mathews, P. Tucker Withington

Dylan ProgrammingThe primary goals of this book are to teach you how to program in Dylan, and how to write programs in an object-oriented style.

Along the way, the authors hope to convince you to use Dylan. It is intended to be a practical, elegant, and fun language to use.

This book is written for application programmers who have experience working in a conventional language, such as C, Pascal, COBOL, FORTRAN, or BASIC, or in an object-oriented language, such as C++, Java, Smalltalk, or Common LISP with CLOS. Familiarity with object-oriented programming and dynamic languages is not required. The authors do compare Dylan to C, C++, and Java in this book, but you can read and understand the book without any knowledge of these languages.

This book is a tutorial on programming in Dylan, and it offers the following:

  • Begins with the most basic use of Dylan, and gradually expands to show the more powerful and advanced techniques.
  • Gives the flavor of working with the Dylan language in a typical Dylan environment.
  • Shows you how to define classes and methods that work together to solve a problem.
  • Shows you how to use many of Dylan’s classes, functions, and features to good effect within the context of an example application.
  • Introduces the more advanced features of Dylan, including multiple inheritance, performance, exceptions, and macros

Read the book


2. The Dylan Reference Manual by Andrew Shalit

The Dylan Reference ManualThe Dylan Reference Manual is the complete specification and reference of the Dylan programming language.

The book is divided into three parts: chapters 1 through 10 describe the overall structure and semantics of the language; chapters 11 through 14 provide a reference describing every class, function, and syntactic construct in the language; appendices contain the BNF for Dylan’s syntax, a listing of names used by the Dylan language, and a glossary of terms.

The book will be of interest to users of Dylan, as well as to those who have a general interest in object-oriented programming and modern programming languages. It is not, however, a tutorial.

Read the book


3. Building Applications With DUIM by Dylan Hackers

Building Applications with DUIMBuilding Applications using DUIM, provides an introduction to developing your own windowed applications using Open Dylan and, in particular, the interface-building functionality provided by the DUIM library suite.

It is designed to complement Getting Started with Open Dylan, which provides information on using the Open Dylan development environment, and the DUIM Reference Manual, which provides a complete reference to the DUIM library suite. You are advised to look at Getting Started with Open Dylan before reading this manual in any depth.

Read the manual


All books in this series:

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