Why Learn Lisp When There Are Perl & Python

Perm URL with updates: http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/wl_lisp.html

Today, i do not think there's much reason to learn lisp. If i must advocate lisp, then the following are reasons:

  • ① emacs lisp. It is extremely useful in emacs. (emacs, although powerful, but is a dinasour that cannot be easily fixed due to its cult. This means, if you are not a emacs user, and do not care for the many gospels about emacs, then this reason is not relevant.) (See also: Xah Emacs Lisp Tutorial.)
  • ② Clojure, is a modern lisp, practical functional language, with growing use in industry. This is a good reason to learn functional programing and lisp. (Note: most lisp fanatics (the Common/Scheme lisp camp), hate Clojure.) (Note: Clojure's community and aim is industrial use, as opposed to Haskell. Haskell is likely to stay in academia and hobbyist programing community forever, like the fate of Scheme lisp, due to the nature of their community. See: Language, Purity, Cult, and Deception.)
  • ③ Mathematica, is lisp-like at its core. The language is far superior than ALL (counting Haskell, F#, OCaml, erlang), in my opinion. However, in the context of this article, Mathematica isn't normally considered as a lang in the lisp family. Mathematica is commercial, and sells for a few thousand dollars.