Programming Books

7 Excellent Free Books to Learn Scheme

Last Updated on September 21, 2023

4. Revised Report on the Algorithmic Language Scheme by Richard K Elsey, William Clinger, Jonathan Rees

Revised Report on the Algorithmic Language SchemeRevised Report on the Algorithmic Language Scheme gives a defining description of the programming language Scheme.

This report is accompanied by a report describing standard libraries; references to this document are identified by designations such as “library section” or “library chapter”. It is also accompanied by a report containing non-normative appendices.

A fourth report gives some historical background and rationales for many aspects of the language and its libraries.

Chapters cover:

  • Introduction – provides a brief history of Scheme and the report, with an overview of Scheme’s semantics.
  • Lexical conventions – an informal account of some of the lexical conventions used in writing Scheme programs looking at identifiers, whitespace and comments, and other notations.
  • Basic concepts – variables, syntactic keywords, and regions, external representations, storage model, and proper tail recursion.
  • Expressions – describes the syntax and semantics of primitive and derived expressions.
  • Program Structure – describes the syntax and semantics of programs and definitions.
  • Standard Procedures – describes Scheme’s built-in procedures, including all of Scheme’s data manipulation and input/output primitives.
  • Formal Syntax and Semantics – provides a formal syntax for Scheme written in extended BNF, along with a formal denotational semantics. An example of the use of the language follows the formal syntax and semantics.

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5. How to Use Scheme: The Book by Matthias Felleisen, Robert Bruce Findler, Matthew Flatt, Shriram Krishnamurthi, Paul Steckler

How to Use Scheme: The BookHow to Use Scheme bridges the gap between the basic steps of how to design programs and how to design large programs that interact with all kinds of items in our computer and the network to which it is connected. It introduces the reader to some pretty basic ideas, such as file input and output, to more advanced things, such simple GUI design and Web scripting.

Chapters cover:

  • File Input and Output:
    • S-expressions.
    • XML and X-expressions.
    • The Conventional Way.
    • Reading and Writing Binary Data.
  • Ports:
    • Ports.
    • Files and Ports.
    • Strings and Ports.
    • Networking and Ports.
    • Creating Your Own Ports.
  • Strings and Regular Expressions.
  • Scheme Programs and Shell Scripts.
  • Files and Directories.
  • CGI Scripts.
  • Threads and Custodians.
  • Modules and Collections.
  • Classes and Interfaces.
  • The Graphics Toolbox.
  • COM Scripting and Dynamic HTML.

The Web tree is the publisher-endorsed, on-line version of the book.

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6. Teach Yourself Scheme in Fixnum Days by Dorai Sitaram

Teach Yourself Scheme in Fixnum DaysTeach Yourself Scheme in Fixnum Days is an introductory book on the Scheme programming language using the Racket Scheme implementation.

It is intended as a quick-start guide, something a novice can use to get a non-trivial working knowledge of the language, before moving on to more comprehensive and in-depth texts.

Chapters explore:

  • Enter Scheme.
  • Data types – simple and compound data types, other data types, and S-expressions.
  • Forms – procedures, apply, and sequencing.
  • Conditionals – when and unless, cond, case, and and or.
  • Lexical Variables – let and let, fluit-let.
  • Recursion – letrec, Named let, Iteration, and mapping a procedure across a list.
  • I/O – input/output (I/O) procedures that will let you read from an input port or write to an output port.
  • Macros – a macro is defined using the special form define‑macro.
  • Structures – default initializations, defstruct defined.
  • Alists and tables – alist is a Scheme list of a special format.
  • System interface – checking for and deleting files, calling operating-system commands, environment variables.
  • Objects and classes – a simple object system, classes are instances too, multiple inheritance.
  • Jumps – Scheme allows program control to jump to arbitrary locations in the program, in contrast to the more restrained forms of program control flow allowed by conditionals and procedure calls. This chapter shows how the call-with-current-continuation operator can be used to create a breathtaking variety of control idioms.
  • Nondeterminism – description of amb, implementing amb in Scheme, using amb in Scheme, and logic puzzles.
  • Engines – represents computation that is subject to timed preemption.
  • Shell scripts – Hello, World!, again, Scripts with arguments.
  • CGI scripts – scripts that reside on a web server and can be run by a client (browser).

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7. An Introduction to Scheme and its Implementation by Paul R Wilson

An Introduction to Scheme and its ImplementationThis book is for people who are interested in how Scheme works, or people who are interested in Scheme in terms of programming language design – as well as people who are just interested in using Scheme.

It also provides an introduction to Scheme for programmers – it is not for first time programmers but for people who already know how to program (at least a little) and are interested in learning Scheme.

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Pages in this article:
Page 1 – The Scheme Programming Language and more books
Page 2 – Revised Report on the Algorithmic Language Scheme and more books

All books in this series:

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