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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] OT: Lisp

From: Andrew Suffield
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] OT: Lisp
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2003 10:30:13 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.4i

On Thu, Nov 20, 2003 at 04:12:50AM -0600, Charles Duffy wrote:
> On Thu, 2003-11-20 at 03:14, Andrew Suffield wrote:
> > ...I can't wring any kind of sense from this at all. The best I can
> > come up with is this:
> > 
> > For every language X, that language is entirely focussed on the
> > technique "Writing X code".
> > 
> > Which is obvious, uninteresting, and doesn't seem relevant. Certainly
> > not to the original subject of discussion.
> I'm not sure that's obvious -- or, even if it's obvious, I'm not sure
> that it's *true*. And I think that it rather does have something to do
> with the matter at hand.
> LISP code, for instance, doesn't necessarily look much the same at all.
> (Yes, there are bits involving parenthesis that may look the same no
> matter what, but transcribing to a different language syntax should take
> that out). Compare code written with traditional LISP without any
> unusual macros to code written against the exact same language but which
> uses one of the many available libraries providing OO mechanisms -- or,
> for a much more dramatic example, compare code written in LISP proper to
> code written in CLIPS[1]. Lisp doesn't encourage around "writing Lisp
> code" in the same way Perl encourages "writing Perl code".

Given what you just said - that's exactly the same as perl. I'm not
sure why you think perl is any different. Here's a little random
example, from the extreme end:

        #! /usr/bin/perl -w
        use Lingua::Romana::Perligata;

        adnota Illud Cribrum Eratothenis

        maximum tum val inquementum tum biguttam tum stadium egresso scribe.
        vestibulo perlegementum da meo maximo.
        maximum tum novumversum egresso scribe.
        da II tum maximum conscribementa meis listis.
        dum damentum nexto listis decapitamentum fac sic
               lista sic hoc tum nextum recidementum cis vannementa da listis.
               next tum biguttam tum stadium tum nextum tum novumversum
                        scribe egresso.

That's a working perl program, or at least it was last time I tried
it. I believe it's a prime sieve.

The style of perl changes vastly, and often varies in syntax in
various ways, depending on context, author, goals, and what libraries
are in use.

> > > > The third is from the design for perl6, a language which doesn't exist
> > > > yet, but which already has many pages of design outline describing all
> > > > the different things that are being combined in it.
> > > 
> > > Okay, perl6 works -- though I was thinking "ruby" at the time that I
> > > wrote it, and I'm quite sure that ruby predates perl6.
> > 
> > Not to mention java, smalltalk, python... it's a very old phrase. None
> > of these languages focus particularly on it.
> Ehh? I'd say that for Smalltalk and Ruby it's absolutely a core focus.
> Smalltalk, in particular, encouraged the acceptance of a lot of patterns
> which are still in use today. (Python and Java both make exceptions to
> their OOness -- more the former than the latter. That's not to say I'm
> not fond of them nonetheless).

You are apparently confusing "includes" and "encourages" with
"singular focus". Yes, there are a great many languages which
encourage the use of one or more techniques... but that's not what we
were talking about. (It would be a pretty poor language that
didn't... assembly is the only one that springs to mind, although even
that is questionable with a good macro assembler).

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' : |
 `. `'                          |
   `-             -><-          |

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