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Re: if vs. when vs. and: style question

From: Pascal J. Bourguignon
Subject: Re: if vs. when vs. and: style question
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:22:48 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3 (gnu/linux)

Rusi <address@hidden> writes:

> For 50 years CS has been living in the impoverished world of ASCII.
> This makes people think CS and math are more far apart than they 
> essentially/really are.
> I wrote this as my wish for python:
> Isn't it about time lisp also considered a similar line?

Take a random computer.  Type λ.  Type lambda.  Which one was easier?

Type:   ∀ ρ∈W • 𝐑ρ □
Type:   (for-all (member rho W) (R rho))

Which one was easier?

However, check:

With this font-lock, you type (lambda (epsilon) (* 2 epsilon))
and you see: (λ (ε) (* 2 ε))
the buffer and file still contain (lambda (epsilon) (* 2 epsilon))
but it's displayed as greek letters.
This can of course be expanded to more unicode symbols.

You could type: (for-all (member rho W) (mathematical-bold-capital-r rho))
and you'd see:  (∀ (∈ ρ W) (𝐑 ρ))

The next step, is to use a system like HAL/S or the one implemented for
scheme -> LaTeX, which reformat formulae in sources using a Mathematic
rendering engine such as LaTeX (or ASCII art in the case of HAL/S).

The important point is that you keep the source in ASCII, so it's easy
to type and to process anywhere.

The difficulty is that you have to maintain a (possibly complex)
toolchain to have nice renderings.

The success of lisp and unix over the decades shows that simplier tools
win on the long term.   Contrarily to graphic programming languages (such
as UML) or other "experiments", or more complex systems, object-based or
other (LispMachines), which will eventually break and be forgotten by
most and regretted by few).

(Everytime I touch UML, there's a whole new toolchain or CASE tool as
the tool du jour.  Everytime I touch lisp sources, I have my faithful
emacs, and what we do today with emacs 24, you could do thirty years ago
with emacs 18).

Perhaps unicode will take over programming sources, when we'll be able
to input your programs by mind reading devices instead of keyboards.
But it won't be soon, if you check how bad it is only to dictate
program sources (vs. English text).

__Pascal Bourguignon__       
“The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a
dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to
keep the man from touching the equipment.” -- Carl Bass CEO Autodesk

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