Choosing a programming language as a competitive tool

Douglas Alan nessus at mit.edu
Mon May 7 10:04:45 CEST 2001


"Alex Martelli" <aleaxit at yahoo.com> writes:

> Python and Lisp both have an important data structure each calls
> "list" -- but the two data structures in question are nothing like
> each other.

They are quite like each other in how they are most often used, which
is to accumulate elements without having to pre-allocate storage, so
that the list can later be iterated down.

Lisp also includes "vectors" for when you need a list type that is
like Python's list type.  The syntax for "vectors" in Lisp is even
almost identical to the syntax for "lists" (e.g., #(1 2 3) vs (1 2
3)).  And some Lisp implementations "cdr code" linked lists when
possible in order to make them perform more like vectors when that
would be a good thing.

There are several languages derived from Lisp that make "vectors" a
more central data structure than linked lists, Clu and Smalltalk being
two that come to mind.

|>oug



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