[Chicago] Python On Lisp: A project to call Python code from Lisp

Brant Harris deadwisdom at gmail.com
Fri Feb 3 03:09:05 CET 2006


Lisp has a direct elegance that you cannot match with a strictly
imperative language like Python.  The thing I'd be interested in is
the possibility of speed and mixing of languages.  Speed because
Python and Lisp have much larger similarities than Python and C, and
Lisp can sometimes be faster than C.  Mixing, because If one could
write Lisp that is called by Python directly that would be sweet for
things like AI/robotics and other sorts of scientific research, which
translates very well to Lisp thanks to it's functional programming. 
The problem with Lisp is as you say, the complication, unreadability. 
So if you could drive complicated Lisp functionality with Python
imperative logic, you'd have a really great mix.

On 2/2/06, Robare, Phil <PRobare at chx.com> wrote:
> I just stumbled across this project at
> http://common-lisp.net/project/python-on-lisp/
> And thought it may be of interest to some on this list.
>
> Their idea is to embed a Python interpreter within Lisp and allow Python
> to call back to Lisp by eval'ing a Lisp string.  They state are in an
> early alpha mode (no code or executable published yet).
>
> I guess I am wondering why, if someone knows Python well enough, would
> they opt for Lisp.  We have forty years of language design behind us
> since the original language was published.  In my experience algorithms
> in lisp are almost as opaque as those in Perl.  The macro facility in
> Lisp is probably more straight-forward than doing something similar in
> Python - but that may be my lack of breadth in Python.  Certainly
> dealing with a complex graph data structure in Python is much easier
> IMHO.  And the OO constructs in Lisp are near to the limit of a human's
> ability to deal with complexity.
>
> If I want to go on in this way I should probably blog it instead of
> spamming all of you with my opinions.  But I would be interested in your
> takes on this project.
>
> Phil Robare
> Consultant
> Chicago Stock Exchange
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