Lisp development with macros faster than Python development?..

Kay Schluehr kay.schluehr at
Fri Jul 8 16:47:50 CEST 2005

seberino at schrieb:
> I've been reading the beloved Paul Graham's "Hackers and Painters".
> He claims he developed a web app at light speed using Lisp and lots
> of macros.

Yes, Paul is a postmodern hero who reininvents himself and his language
every day and with every program:

"Experienced Lisp programmers divide up their programs differently. As
well as top-down design, they follow a principle which could be called
bottom-up design-- changing the language to suit the problem. In Lisp,
you don't just write your program down toward the language, you also
build the language up toward your program. As you're writing a program
you may think "I wish Lisp had such-and-such an operator." So you go
and write it. Afterward you realize that using the new operator would
simplify the design of another part of the program, and so on. Language
and program evolve together."

Remark: The same may be claimed about Forth.

This might be a great self experience for some "great hackers" but just
annoying for others who used to work with modular standard librarys and
think that the border of the language and an application should be
somehow fixed to enable those. 


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