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[OT] Elisp as a general purpose programming language (was: Elisp LSP Ser

From: Joost Kremers
Subject: [OT] Elisp as a general purpose programming language (was: Elisp LSP Server)
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2021 10:43:50 +0200
User-agent: mu4e 1.6.6; emacs 27.2.50

On Thu, Oct 14 2021, Po Lu wrote:
> It isn't IMO.  For instance, I haven't seen a general purpose
> programming language that doesn't have file streams yet.

Yes, but where is the definition of "general-purpose programming language" that
explicitly includes file streams as a requirement? ;-)

OK, that sounded more pedantic that I wish... The point is that I think this
would be quibbling over semantics, so probably not a very useful discussion.

>> You can't really say that something like Gnus is just an Emacs
>> extension.
> Why is that?  Gnus is a newsreader, and net news is usually just text,
> so it fits into a text editor very well.

But news (and mail) readers exist as standalone programs. Such applications
involve editing text, which happens to be something Emacs is good at. So
building them on top of Emacs is an added benefit for those applications,
because they get all the power of Emacs for an important part of their

In my understanding of an Emacs extension (or perhaps "plug-in" would be a
better term), however, the benefit flows in the other direction: from the
extension to Emacs. An extension makes text editing (or more broadly, using
Emacs) more convenient. (An extension would not make sense as a standalone
program, for example.)

I'm sure there's gonna be a large grey area, though, (Org, Magit?) so again I'm
afraid this is gonna end in quibbling over semantics...

Anyway, long story short, I do see Elisp as a general-purpose programming
language, but I did say "arguably". :-)

Joost Kremers
Life has its moments

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