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Showing posts from January 20, 2008

The Jargon “Lisp1” vs “Lisp2”

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/emacs/lisp1_vs_lisp2.htmlWhy You should Not Use The Jargon Lisp1 and Lisp2Xah Lee, 2008-01-10[The following is originally posted as a reply in comp.lang.lisp about “Lisp-1” vs “Lisp-2”.]Someone (Propon...@gmx.net) wrote:Having read Touretzky's introduction and the first half of Paul Graham's On Lisp, I'm wondering what the advantages of a Lisp-2 are over a Lisp-1It seems to me that a Lisp-2's ability to use a single symbol to represent both a function and a value is a minor advantage, although I'm sure some regard it as a disadvantage. On the other hand, a Lisp-2 requires the clunky, IMHO, #' operator and cannot have a elegant, universal DEFINE like Scheme's.Yet I've heard that a Lisp-1's macros are necessarily less powerful than those of a Lisp-2. Is that true? Are there some other big advantages of a Lisp-2 that I'm missing?Please try to avoid the jargons lisp1 and lisp2.Recently i have just wrote a lo…

Jargons And High Level Languages

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/emacs/jargons_high_level_lang.htmlJargons And High Level LanguagesXah Lee, 2008-01-09[This essay is originally posted to comp.lang.lisp in discussion of a ideal high level language.]Adding to Ray Dillinger and Joh Harrop's post about a ideal functional lang system, my wishes are:The language will be absolutely high-level, meaning in particular:• The language's documentation, will not need to have mentioning any of the following words: pointer, reference, memory allocation, stacks, hash, cons cells, linked list, circular list.• The language will not have concept of binary bits, bit operator, bytes, etc. (see the optimization section below) (However, the language can (and should) support computing with arbitrary number basis, and when the basis is 2, the compiler should of course automatically map it to bits on a chip as its method to achieve speed)• The language's computational model should be simple, high-level, mathematics based as…

Is Lisp's Objects Concept Necessary?

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/emacs/lisps_objects.htmlIs Lisp's Objects Concept Necessary?Xah Lee, 2008-01-22[The following are edited version of posts originally to comp.lang.lisp.]I've been programing Mathematica since 1993, worked as intern at Wolfram Research Inc in 1995. And since have been coding Mathematica daily up to 1998, and on and off since then.I started to learn emacs in around 1997, and use it daily, about 8 hours a day, ever since and still today.I started to learn lisp in about 1997. Mostly, i readed word-for-word, 3 chapters of the book Structure And Interpretation Of Computer Programs by Harold Abelson et al. (there are a total of 5 chapters) And, i have readed maybe half of the Scheme lisp's lang spec “Revised(4) Report on the Algorithmic Language Scheme”. These are all during 1997-1998. However, at the time i've never really wrote any programs in lisp other than toy factorial function.In 2005, i started to casually learn emacs lisp. Beca…