Forth like interpreter

William Tanksley wtanksle at
Thu Mar 23 20:07:49 CET 2000

On 22 Mar 2000 00:08:50 GMT, Neel Krishnaswami wrote:
>William Tanksley <wtanksle at> wrote:
>> On 20 Mar 2000 09:29:30 -0600, Tres Seaver wrote:
>> >William Tanksley <wtanksle at> wrote:

>> >>It's interesting that for all the time Lisp people spend talking about
>> >>metaprogramming (programs which write programs) the most commonly used
>> >>metaprogrammed language isn't even vaguely similar to Lisp.  (Anybody
>> >>care to guess?)

>> >PostScript -- what did I win? :)

>> Here, have some cycles of reversed kielbasa.  And ten Usenet Points,

>I'd disagree with Postscript as the most commonly metaprogrammed
>language -- it's almost certainly the Unix shell, which has a
>primitive, ugly and basically evil quotation mechanism built in, to

> $ wc -l `find . -name '*.py'`

>But it's still a quotation mechanism, damn it. (Who knows how many
>otherwise promising programmers have been convinced metaprogramming is
>evil by the example of the shell?)

First, Unix systems use Postscript very heavily, and although Windows
systems don't use it as predominantly, it's still very common (and there
are a LOT of Windows systems).  So no matter how easy metaprogramming is
in the Unix shell, I'm sure Postscript would still be more common.

Second, I've never seen that quoting mechanism used as a metaprogramming
tool -- it's always used (as in your example here) to provide _data_, not
programs.  It's just another way for a program to provide data to another
program.  If that's metaprogramming, then so's every use of 'return'.

Quoting != metaprogramming.


-William "Billy" Tanksley

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