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Re: learning Emacs Lisp

From: Richard Riley
Subject: Re: learning Emacs Lisp
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2008 22:24:14 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

Niels Giesen <address@hidden> writes:

> Richard Riley <address@hidden> writes:
> [...]
>> Of course. But eLisp is special in that its almost unreadable to the
>> typical procedural programmer fluent in C/C++ etc until you know a lot
>> if it already. Or that was my experience. And we all have different
>> experiences so it does no harm to remain open as to what suits other
>> people.
> Where is there any evidence that the original OP is a `typical
> procedural programmer fluent in C/C++'? 

There isn't any. Why do you ask? I am and I found Xah Lee's tutorial
helpful.  I didn't assume he was or wasn't. I just added the link
to allow the OP to evaluate the usefulness himself.

Since you seem to be quite sure I am doing a mis-service I think its
only fair to defend myself and point something out -

If you read the paragraph above I specifically say:

| And we all have different experiences so it does no harm to remain open
| as to what suits other people.

So I am somewhat surprised by your reading of my reply.

> It annoys me to pieces that so many textbooks assume that everyone out
> there is a C/C++/Java programmer. For me, Lisp was my first

It would me too. But I didn't and nothing I said indicated I did. Had he
been though it might be useful. Others read this threads too following a

If Lisp was your first language great. There are many, many more where
it won't be. eLisp is a minority language and people familiar with
others will frequently be looking to learn a little. This is obvious
from reading this group and the #emacs irc channel.

> programming language (thanks to Emacs, which I started using to write
> law papers in), and I do not need textbooks to explain for instance
> Ruby to me in Lisp (which is perfectly feasible) but I even less need
> comparisons with Java or C. Even worse, doing so is a major
> distraction from the real object of learning. 

Yes, that is all really nice. But others might benefit from the
link. You seem quite adamant that it should not have been posted. I can
not begin to think why. It is another eLisp resource that people MIGHT
find useful depending on their skill levels, background and needs. Let
them decide.
> Consider teaching Dutch to someone from Morocco but using English
> during the lessons: that's just plain silly and simply leads to
> unnecessary confusion. Using analogies from Slovak to teach Polish
> however may be insightful, but only when the student already has
> knowledge of a Slavic language. Same goes with programming languages:
> do not assume.

I don't. But I also don't decide for the person asking. Providing the
link can do no harm.

Ir is often forgotten that SOME programmers are looking for a quick and
dirty introduction in order to do one thing and one thing only. They
have neither the time, resources nor desire to learn something like Lisp
from the bottom up and some readily available patterns and programming
snippets are more than enough.

i can only state once more : I personally found Xah Lee's tutorial
useful and consider that others might too.

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