best book: aint no such thing, and encouragement for old coots

Mark Carter cartermark46 at
Mon Jan 19 17:51:46 CET 2004

> Well, when you think you want a loop and before you know it you've
> written:
>     (define (my-func arg1 arg2)
>       (define (inner var)
>          ...
> it's probably time to come back to a less spartan programming
> language.  I mean, it's good to know that you *can* write loops that
> way, but that doesn't mean it actually *is* a good idea.

I'm experimenting with learning a functional language; and I know
almost zero about Scheme. I find it very difficult to understand the
structure of what's going on. I downloaded Standard ML (the New Jersey
offering), and find myself more inclined to dig into ML deeper; rather
than Scheme. ML does, at first glance, seem more readable.

I suppose that Schemers and Lispers take the attitude that a lack of
syntax is an advantage, because you can ultimately program in any
paradigm you wish. It's "just" a case of writing code that implements
the paradigm. I have also heard claims that the existence of
parantheses in s-exprs is a red herring as far as readability is

Non Schemers/Lispers, on the other hand, presumably think that a
spoonful of syntactic sugar helps the medicine go down.

I suspect that if there really was One Obviously Right Way To Do It,
then we'd all be using it. No silver bullet, and all that.

I am sure, though, that there will be many people who disagree with my

More information about the Python-list mailing list