What can you do in LISP that you can't do in Python

David LeBlanc whisper at oz.nospamnet
Wed May 23 14:46:38 EDT 2001

In article <mailman.990563553.4477.python-list at python.org>, 
James_Althoff at i2.com says...
> o We (the Smalltalk-80 group at Xerox PARC) designed the syntax and
> semantics of Smalltalk-80 from the very beginning to allow "nameless,
> in-place" code blocks to serve a *very* prominent role in the language --
> namely, to implement *all* control structures.  In fact, we designed the
> syntax and semantics of Smalltalk-80 specifically so as to make it
> unnecessary to define *any* builtin control structure into the language
> proper (aside from method invocation). (The goal was to design the language
> such that essentially every construct -- including every control structure
> -- could be considered to be a "parameterized message sent to an object).
> Python (like most languages), on the other hand, was designed to have
> special syntax and semantics to support each of its builtin control
> structures.  In this sense, lambdas do not serve the same fundamental role
> in Python that blocks do in Smalltalk.
> Jim

I think having smalltalk-style block closures in Python would be great! 
The only problem I can see, given the pythonic aversion to left/right 
(brackets, carets, braces), is how it would look.

Dave LeBlanc

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