My new book, Functional Data Structures in R, was supposed to get out early next year, then it was moved to the end of December, but yesterday I saw that it was already available at Amazon and today I received my courtesy copies.
It is a lot thicker than the last three books, but do not let that fool you. It is a bit longer in word count, about 50% longer than the others, and it just looks larger because they have used a larger font. That is really for the better, though, ’cause the previous three were really printed with too small a font for my liking. I need to use my glasses to read them.
Of the five R books I’ve written so far, this was the most fun. Beginning Data Science covers pretty basic stuff I used when teaching a data science class. Functional Programming and Object-oriented Programming got into some more advanced topics, but nothing really exciting if you are already a serious R programmer. So I didn’t learn so much myself from writing them. With Meta-programming I had more fun with experimenting with different things, but it is still just putting down the groundworks before I can do write something more exciting.
With Functional Data Structures I had an excuse to experiment with different data structures, and algorithmic programming has always been a passion of mine, so that was wonderful. These days I’m actually spending all my time implementing various string algorithms for a new class that runs in the spring, so I have the same kind of feeling about that as I had about writing this book.
Because I’m busy with the string algorithms—and a chapter I’m contributing to a book—I am not writing much these days. I have planned out half of my next book, though, which will be on domain-specific languages in R. That is not in any sense of the word algorithmic programming, but it does let me use some advanced features, and I am having fun with thinking up good examples for that book. I expect that I will get serious about writing it early in the new year when I have the string algorithm class planned in detail, but I am not entirely sure yet. I have two other classes I also need to plan and prepare material for, and there might be some writing there that could turn into books, and if so, they will have a higher priority since I have deadlines for classes but not for R books.
Anyway, I had a lot of fun writing Functional Data Structures in R, and I hope people will find it useful. If you read it and enjoy it, please leave a review on Amazon. It really helps me selling the books if there are positive reviews.