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Re: [Axiom-developer] Lisp

From: M. Edward (Ed) Borasky
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Lisp
Date: Thu, 06 Mar 2008 08:03:04 -0800
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20080213)

root wrote:

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.

Well ... I wasn't specifically referring to Rails but rather to Ruby as a general purpose programming languages. Unfortunately, there *are* web site frameworks and libraries in Common Lisp. It's not that Lisp is ill-suited or well-suited for web applications that's the problem. It's that competent Lisp programmers are hard to find, and your application becomes costly to maintain.

Similarly, there are a lot of Rails developers that only know enough Ruby to hack (badly) on an existing Rails site. Again, that's a recipe for an unmaintainable application. I remember a poster from the 1950s -- "If you don't know what you're doing, don't do it here!" :)

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.

If Spad is the user-visible language that I see when I use Axiom, I agree. If it's a lower-level language than that, then I don't really think so. I think you want the full higher-level language to "do mathematics". At least to do *applied* mathematics, that is -- I couldn't do theoretical mathematics even with infinitely powerful tools. :)

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