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Re: [Axiom-developer] Lisp

From: root
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Lisp
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2008 00:12:59 -0500

>> Either you "get it" or you don't. There is no half-way with Lisp.  
>> There are no words to explain what it means to "get it" until you do 
>> ... and then there is no reason to explain it; you get it. 
>Well ... many years ago I "got" Lisp. I told myself at the time that if 
>I had to use one programming language for the rest of my career, it 
>would be Lisp. And there were Lisp machines -- was it three vendors, two 
>or four?
>About four years ago, I got back into Lisp during a workshop on 
>algorithmic composition. You know what? A couple of decades with other 
>languages, especially Perl and R, convinced me that Lisp, while an 
>elegant conceptual framework, was woefully lame as a *practical* 
>language. And now there's Ruby.
>So I saw the whole elephant. But I don't think I care to ride on it any 

That's fair. There was no claim that lisp is the right language for
any particular purpose. Ruby is fine and Rails is the fastest path
to a website solution. Lisp is ill suited for that purpose and for
many other purposes.

Spad is a conceptually different level of language and is not
syntactic sugar. It is clear that you want a spad-like language to do
mathematics. Lisp is ill-suited for that purpose also.

But boot is syntactic sugar.

The real question is, do you understand why "syntactic sugar" languages
like boot disable the key strength of Lisp? 


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