Benefits of moving from Python to Common Lisp?

Marco Antoniotti marcoxa at cs.nyu.edu
Tue Nov 13 16:16:30 CET 2001


"Andrew Dalke" <dalke at dalkescientific.com> writes:

> Michael Hudson:
> >But they very much take their lead from CPython, so Tim's points all
> >remain valid.  Well, except for vyper, but that doesn't have enough
> >influence to count (perhaps unfortunately).
> 
> I recall some of the conversation when (then) JPython was being
> developed, on making sure the documentation didn't require
> implementation-specific functionality.  So there is *some*
> standard-like documentation.
> 
> What's needed to call something a standard?
> 
> I don't know of a C++ compiler which fully meets the C++ standard.
> (They all seem to have bits of 'oh, we don't do that yet'.)
> 
> So I figured three different implementations (C, Java and OCaml)
> with no shared run-time environment was enough to disprove Tim's
> statement:
> 
> ] there is only one implementation, and the language
> ] is defined implicitly by that implementation
> 
> For Python, would it be better to say
> 
>   there are several implementations, and the language is mostly
>   defined by the documentation, but the other implementations
>   defer to the C implementation, distribution, and developers in
>   matters of interpretation.
> ?
> 
> Tim's point was that standardizing a library is a complicated and
> expensive process.  My point is that the Python library
> (standardized or not) works with quite different runtimes.  Why
> aren't there similarly widely used though non-standard libraries
> for CL for "doing stuff like internet programming"?  [Paul Rubin]
> 
> For example, back in the Perl4 days when CGI programming first
> became hot, just about everyone used cgi-lib.pl even though it
> wasn't part of the standard Perl library, and this was pre-CPAN.

Historical cruft?  The evolution of the languages have been different.
The presence of strong vendors in the CL camp does (IMHO) work as a
disincentive to community wide standardization.

On top of that add the dwindling support for CL as a whole,
irrespective of the technical merits of the language itself.

Things are changing, yet slowly.  This is just the way things are.

As for  "widely used though non-standard libraries for CL for "doing
stuff like internet programming", you can check the CLOCC
(http://sourceforge.net/projects/clocc). Not much, but it is there.

Cheers

-- 
Marco Antoniotti ========================================================
NYU Courant Bioinformatics Group        tel. +1 - 212 - 998 3488
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