Complementary language?

Alex Martelli aleaxit at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 26 10:06:15 CET 2004


Robert Kern <rkern at ucsd.edu> wrote:

> Common Lisp might be a good one to learn. It's even more 
> "multi-paradigm" than Python. You could very easily learn more 
> approaches to programming through Common Lisp than three other 
> languages. This book[2] looks promising.

If you're looking for SERIOUS multiparadigmaticity, I think Oz may be
best -- <http://www.info.ucl.ac.be/people/PVR/book.html> (the book's
authors critique the vagueness of the "paradigm" concept, and prefer
"model", but that's much the same thing).

You start with pure declarative programming (aka "functional" in many
circles), move on to concurrency in a purely declarative worldview
(easiest way to see concurrency), then enrich both sequential and
concurrent models as the book progresses, by message-passing, explicit
state ("procedural"), object-oriented, _shared_ state, and finally
relational.  GUI, distributed, and constraint-based programming round
out a grandiose conceptual tour.

"SICP for the 21st Century"...?  (SICP: google for it!).  I currently
think so, though, studying CTMCP (the Oz book) in my spare time, it will
take me a while before I've finished it and can fairly offer such a
lofty recommendation for it... still, I notice from the back-page blurbs
that Peter Norvig has no reservations drawing a parallel with SICP (aka
Abelson and Sussman), and Norvig's assessment must count for more than
mine!


Alex



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