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

Richard P. Muller rpm at wag.caltech.edu
Mon May 14 17:34:38 CEST 2001

I read Paul Graham's excellent article
(http://www.paulgraham.com/paulgraham/avg.html) on using LISP to write
what became the Yahoo!Stores website. One of the central points is that
there are some things (macros) that you can do in LISP that you can't do
in other languages. This motivated me to learn a bit about LISP. I chose
the Scheme dialect, because it seemed to have the best documentation
available for free. 

However, thus far I can't see anything that I could do in Scheme that I
couldn't do in Python. From the thread on LISP I've seen a lot of
comments that have suggested that I should have started with Common Lisp
instead of Scheme -- so maybe that's the problem. But can someone give
me a short example of something that I can do in LISP that I couldn't do
in Python?

Don't get me wrong: I like Scheme -- it's a very elegant language. But
thus far I haven't seen the big "Aha!".

Richard P. Muller, Ph.D.
rpm at wag.caltech.edu

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