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Re: [Axiom-developer] Good Tim

From: Kai Kaminski
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Good Tim
Date: Tue, 08 Nov 2005 11:35:27 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (darwin)

"Bill Page" <address@hidden> writes:

> On November 7, 2005 10:10 AM Kai Kaminski wrote:
>> I don't feel like participating in the language arguments going
>> on at the moment. Still I would like to voice my support for Tim's
>> position in this matter.
> Thank you for participating anyway. :)
My pleasure ;-)

>> In particular, I agree with him that BOOT is *not* higher-level
>> than Lisp. There is not a single feature in Lisp that can't be
>> embedded in Lisp with macros.
> I expect you meant to write: 
> "There is not a single feature in Boot that can't be embedded
> in Lisp with macros."

> That is certainly true but it is completely irrelevant. Before
> we argue about when something is "higher-level" than something
> else, I think we must first define what we mean by "higher-level".
> This is difficult.
> Perhaps we can agree that Spad is higher-level than Lisp? If
> so then I can at least temporarily bypass the exact definition
> of the language hierarchy and simply argue that Boot is closer
> to Spad than Lisp and so the designation "higher-level" is
> appropriate.
> If you do not agree that Spad is higher-level than Lisp, then
> I think we should talk more about Spad first before talking
> about Boot.
In that sense BOOT might be higher level than Lisp, but I can't see
how that is useful. Still I won't argue this point, as I really don't
want to join the discussion. I only wrote the above to make clear what
exactly I agree with.

>> I also agree with him that in open source "advocacy is
>> volunteering". Hence I'm willing to start working on converting
>> BOOT code to Lisp as soon as Tim tells me that he'll accept
>> such patches.
> Converting Boot code to Lisp is trivial - just run the compiler.
But the compiler's output is mostly useless. It only(?) uses lists and
maybe vectors and the code it generates is pretty ugly. I'm offering
to rewrite BOOT code in Lisp by hand. That requires some redesign,
especially considering that Aldor is the goal, and so I'm waiting for
Tim to tell me where to start or what to do.

> That is the first step that Tim has already used in his recent
> work to which I am objecting. After that, there is the matter of
> removing the Boot compiler artefacts. But that is not enough.
> If anything is to be converted to Lisp than it seems to me that
> it must be converted to a form of Lisp which is at least as
> intelligible as the original Boot code.
I don't think removing the artifacts will be enough.

> Of course we can also argue about what is "intelligible". In
> this regard my proposed standard again would be Spad. So by
> "intelligible" I mean that it must be easily understood by an
> Axiom user who is fluent in Spad and may only know Lisp
> "in theory", not by extensive practice.
I don't agree, but again I won't argue this point. The discussion is
confusing enough as it is.


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