In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com (Steve Simmons) wrote:
> Lisp has suffered (as has UNIX) by being grossly oversold by it's
> proponents. On close examination, the proponents of both have confused
> the environment (libraries, debuggers, UIs, rich set of tools and
> utilities) with the thing itself. This was brought home quite
> forcefully when, after incessant badgering from some lispaholics who
> refused to give up their (admittedly very nice) TI lisp machines, I
> built and installed lisp on UNIX for them. They wouldn't use it,
> because all the other things they had (which were in lisp, according to
> them) weren't available under UNIX.
You make a good point about the importance of environments. That's precisely
the advantage of Lisp. You get a uniform picture of the world -- everything
is Lisp. You don't have to know anything about machine language, assemblers,
linkers, and all plethora of itty bitty 'tools' with <3-character names.
You have the same language for writing macros, the same language for writing
system code, the same language for writing scripts, the same language for
writing editor extensions, the same language for interacting with windows,
Now some would consider this sameness a negative, and with most languages it
would be. But with the power of Lisp as an ubiquitous extension language, I
don't have to memorize all sorts of 'special-purpose languages', each with
different syntax, different naming conventions, different shadowing semantics,
different versions of ifthenelse, dowhile, etc.
Lisp is the ultimate 'fractal' language, because it is good at all levels,
from microcode to shell scripts.