Any advantage in LISPs having simpler grammars than Python?

Carl Banks invalidemail at
Wed Mar 8 21:39:10 CET 2006

Douglas Alan wrote:
> For instance, if Python were to have been designed so that you would
> write:
>    let myVeryLongVariableName = 3
> I would have preferred this over
>    myVeryLongVariableName = 3
> With the latter, I have to scan down the line to see that this line is
> in an assignment statement.

Interesting.  I always found that the visual distinctness of non-Lisp
programs made it easier to scan. For example, in Python I could blur my
eyes such that I can't positively identify the letters, but could still
tell an assignment from a function call from a mathemetical expression;
not so easy in LISP where expressions are visually similar.  Thus, a
line in Python would require less reading, and thus less effort.  Or so
it is for me.

Apparently, I look at the whole line, whereas you look at only the
begining of the line when scanning.  I suppose many LISPers do as well.
 I guess which is less effort depends on whether you find it more
difficult to identify patterns whole line, or read an extra word.

Carl Banks

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