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What makes elisp fun ?

From: Jean-Christophe Helary
Subject: What makes elisp fun ?
Date: Mon, 22 May 2017 21:28:26 +0900

Chassell's introduction really does not manage to make the reader enthusiastic 
about programming in elisp. Maybe it's because it was written when people 
really had to learn *everything* about programming concepts since the internet 
was not so widely spread at the time.

There are countless people on the web who are super excited about Emacs and 
modes and how all that allows them to be so much better at what they do, but 
most of the things I read about elisp are "elisp is what you have to go through 
to write your .emacs file"... I have yet to find just *one* document about 
elisp that shows some real enthusiasm about the language, its features and how 
it enables users to do amazing things (because it also is a Lisp). 

I've read (or started reading) a number of books on Lisp and they pretty much 
all put the emphasis on how simple the syntax is, and on how macros are the 
defining difference between lisp and all the other languages.

On that note, the macro chapter in the reference does not really manage to show 
users how Lisp macros are so different from any other kind of macro system. 
When you read Graham's Ansi Common Lisp, you get right away (p.11) that macros 
are *the* defining difference between Lisp and other languages. On Lisp, or 
more recently Let Over Lambda and even Practical Common Lisp show you right 
away how important macros are.

I understand that macros are not exactly for beginners... But still the way 
they are introduced for other Lisps really conveys the idea that Lisp is a very 
special language. And really, that message does not come through in the 
Introduction to Emacs Lisp or even in the Reference.

So, besides for the fact that elisp is the Emacs extension language, what makes 
you enthusiastic about it and want to program in it? What makes elisp fun for 
you ?


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