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Re: Roadmap to lily code

From: Paul Scott
Subject: Re: Roadmap to lily code
Date: Sun, 01 Jan 2006 22:39:06 +0000
User-agent: Debian Thunderbird 1.0.7 (X11/20051017)

Trevor Bača wrote:

On 1/1/06, Paul Scott <address@hidden> wrote:
Han-Wen Nienhuys wrote:

Art Hixson wrote:

Over the years I've written hundreds of thousands of lines of
Fortran, Cobol, assembly for a variety of machines, Forth, Rexx,
Modula, Python.  While Modula is syntactically perfect and Python, as
its descendant, is pretty nearly so, they still have a rather old
fashioned feel and while useful aren't particularly interesting.
That's an interesting observation, given that LISP is probably older
than all of the languages you mention :)
Fortran was invented in 1954.  The implementation of LISP began in Fall
All of which brings up the following point: if, as Han-Wen (and
others) have pointed out a number of times on the list, LISP was
around almost from the beginning, then why was it that so much of the
world's computing infrastructure got built in Fortran, Cobol and C and
that, later, sitting in computer science classrooms in the 1990s I
(and probably a whole generation of other American high school
students ... dunno about Europe or Canada or Japan) was lead directly
away from the functional-interpreted paradigm and directly towards the
compiled, C paradigm?
Remember, personal computing didn't really exist until the late 1970's. Before that compiled languages made much more sense for efficiency reasons. Until somewhat later it didn't make much sense to teach something that wasn't in widespread use.

It was probably another factor that compiled code made the source much less available making ownership of software much more possible.

At the time of the Apples and PC's, BASIC, an interpreted language was used and taught extensively and another somewhat interpreted and very interactive "language," Forth was used a lot.

When memory became less expensive all the rules changed and people began using programs like spreadsheets and didn't have to program at all.

Paul Scott

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