Why don't people like lisp?
tjreedy at udel.edu
Sun Oct 19 18:12:37 CEST 2003
"Edi Weitz" <edi at agharta.de> wrote in message
news:874qy5ear5.fsf at bird.agharta.de...
> It turned out that this only lasted for a couple of days. In fact,
> once you get it, you realize that every single form in Lisp has
> exactly the right number of parentheses and as long as you know the
> arglist (tools like ILISP will help with that) it's a no-brainer to
> know how many parens you'll need.
Last night I accepted the repeated suggestion to download and read
(some of) OnLisp. Problem: I *don't* know the arglist structure of
every form Graham uses, and since Graham assumes such knowledge, I had
to count parens to reverse engineer function prototypes and determine
what is an argument to what. A Python beginner would more easily do
this with Python code.
What is ILISP. Is there a usable online CL reference that would let
me lookup, for instance, DO and get the prototype and short
I will admit that after a few chapters, the parens did begin to fade a
bit. They are a surface issue. I think some others are more
> As others have pointed out it is _essential_ to use Emacs or an
> clone (like Hemlock or the editors coming with the commercial Lisps)
> if you're going to write Lisp programs. Your editor should be able
> at least get the indentation right automatically, it should be able
> show matching parentheses,
Lisp-aware editors do not solve the problem of reading Lisp code
embedded in text, as with OnLisp formatted .ps or .pdf.
Terry J. Reedy
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