Python syntax in Lisp and Scheme
adalke at mindspring.com
Sun Oct 12 20:48:41 CEST 2003
> Yeah, well, I fear the answer will be yes (it could), but it won't
> do so since you haven't _asked_ it to wake you up, only if it
Pshaw. My hypothetical house of the 2050s or so will know
that "could" in this context is a command. :)
> ME, I definitely don't want to use natural language with
> all of its ambiguity for anything exept communicating with
> other human beings, thankyouverymuch.
But what if computers someday become equally capable
as humans in understanding uncontrained speech? It
can be a dream, yes?
> > a language designed for text, not speed.
> *blink* what does THAT doubtful assertion have to do with anything
> else we were discussing just now...?
An unfortunate typo. I meant "speech" instead of "speed" but
my fingers are too used to typing the latter. Here I would like
a computer to ask "um, did you really mean that?" -- so long as
the false positive rate was low enough.
> > My spreadsheet program looks different from my word processor
> Sure, so do mine, but their menus are quite similar --
> So I don't know what you're intending with this answer.
Loosing ... focus ... mind .. numb .. must stop answering thread.
It's a knee-jerk reaction and an example that I'm no longer
thinking before I start to reply.
> > For Lisp is a language tuned to keyboard input and not the full
> > range of human expression. (As with speech.)
> Python even more so on the output side -- try getting a screen-reader to
> do a halfway decent job with it. But what does this matter here?
The conjecture that computer programming languages are
contrained by the form of I/O and that other languages, based
on speech, free-form 2D writing, or other forms of input may
be more appropriate, at least for some domain.
This was in response to the idea that Lisp is the most appropriate
language for all forms of programming.
> > Hmmm.. Is the number '1' an object? Is a function an object?
> > What about a module? A list? A class?
> Yes to all of the above, in Python. I don't get your point.
It was a rhetorical set of questions, to see what Pascal meant
about all the time being aware that we are dealing with classes
and object. When I wrote it, I didn't see the ambiguity that I
could be pointing out that these aren't classes/objects; in part
because I just didn't think about that alternative.
> But I don't get your points -- neither Andrew's nor Pascal's. How does
> this differ from the awareness I might have in some macro-enhanced
> lisp where I would type (print (sum (range 100))) or the like?
That was my point.
> But even if we provisionally concede your conjecture we are still
> left wondering: is the degree of easing so high that it overcomes
> the inevitable increase in complication, needed for a language to
> have N+1 syntax forms where previously it only had N?
Good point. And as I no longer feel like following up on this
thread, I'll leave it at that.
dalke at dalkescientific.com
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