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Re: Casting as wide a net as possible

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Casting as wide a net as possible
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2015 20:48:05 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

John Wiegley <address@hidden> writes:

>>>>>> Drew Adams <address@hidden> writes:
>> My only point is that Lisp features really do make Emacs what it is. To
>> point out what Emacs is necessarily means pointing out some of those
>> features (IMO).
> I agree. The things that make Emacs great:
>   1. Highly consistent syntax.

Lisp does not have a program syntax.  Its data structures have a fairly
primitive read syntax, and you write down your parse trees in that

That's what makes people hate reading Lisp code (since code is expressed
only in terms of lists, the punctuation is not useful for helping humans
parse the input, letting part of their trained pattern recognition in
the context of reading natural language go waste).  It's also what makes
programmatic manipulation of Lisp code including macro programming quite
more powerful and structure-preserving than macro programming in C or
other languages.

It's a tradeoff, and a good tradeoff at that, but I consider it silly to
try selling the downside of the tradeoff as an advantage.  The upside is
worth it without smokescreen.

David Kastrup

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