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Re: How to improve the readability of (any) LISP or any highlevel functi

From: Nathan
Subject: Re: How to improve the readability of (any) LISP or any highlevel functional language to the level of FORTH ?
Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2011 08:08:06 -0800 (PST)
User-agent: G2/1.0

If you want a easy to read self-documenting functional language, look
into Ruby. I know personally that Ruby syntax was a big turn off to me
for several weeks (kind of like Lisp) but once you learn it, it
becomes the easiest to read of any programming language I've ever
experimented with. No contest.

Matz himself admitted that “...Ruby is a bad rip-off of Lisp... But it
is nicer to ordinary people.”

Though every language I've worked in, I've never been half as
productive as when I'm coding in Ruby. There are so many built in
methods to help you with common day to day tasks, and the end result
of your code will be simpler and clearer to read than you can have it
in any other language.

The downside of course is that Ruby lends itself to the efficient
production of very inefficient code. You'll be plagued with strict
evaluative breath first traversals that glut on your memory. You'll
find yourself cursing a global interpreter lock that makes Ruby's
simple method for handling threads meaningless in most situations.

In my hands, Ruby's nature seems to lend itself to the design of
inefficient code, but that can be overcome with a little attention.
Overall, I left Ruby because the community support was somewhat less
than I wanted. In particular, cross platform GUI application
development seemed poor.

If you want to develop webpages, or bang out quick one time scripts,
Ruby is hard to beat. For use at home, console applications are
probably a tolerable price to pay for the incredible development speed
and fantastic ease of maintenance Ruby will give your code.

If you give it an hour a day for two months, I guarantee you will be
head over heals in love with the Ruby language. If you're not, please
send me an email and tell me what language you prefer because I want
to try it out.

Ruby is just a blast to code in. If it had stronger GUI support, no
global interpretor lock, and either lazy evaluation or preemptive
multi-threading (with a strong preference toward the latter), I'd be
content to settle down with that for the rest of my life. But then,
this is from a guy who's learning Lisp only for the sake of mastering
a superior abstraction model. You might want to take me with a grain
of salt.

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