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The Practice of Prolog (Logic Programming)

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The raison d'etre of this book is to encourage programmers to use Prolog in their day-to-day work. Personally, I find the language exciting to use, and wish to share the excitement with others. More pragmatically, I have seen how certain moderately-sized pieces of software are far easier to write in Prolog than in any other language with which I am familiar. Further, the code, if written clearly, can be easily maintained by persons other than the original author.

Why is the encouragement necessary? Why is Prolog not being widely taught and used in software engineering projects? In fact, reception to Prolog has been mixed, ranging from excitement in Europe, adoption by consensus in Japan and prejudiced ambivalence by the mainstream computer science community in the United States. A major reason for the mixed reception of Prolog has been, in my opinion, the relative inaccessibility of good educational material showing how the language should be used. Indeed, five years ago there was only one widely available book on Prolog, the well-known primer "Programming in Prolog" [?] . Many popular misconceptions abounded about the significance of Prolog's constructs and programming techniques, for example the role of cut, which suggested that Prolog was not a good general language. Popular misconceptions take a long time to subside, and need new material to challenge the old.

The lack of introductory textbooks for Prolog has been addressed. There has been an explosion of texts in recent years, including "The Art of Prolog" [?] in this Logic Programming Series. By and large, however, the current. crop of text.books address programming in the small. It is st.ill necessary to show how to extend the small examples in the texts to programming projects.

This book, in contrast, is intended to help Prolog programming in the moderate to large. It is a collection of programming projects and applications. Each chapter explains a particular application, and presents a Prolog program written to solve the application. It stands apart in the level of detail and the sophistication and quality of the code.
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