Anyone persuaded by "merits of Lisp vs Python"?

Ant antroy at
Fri Jan 5 09:44:49 CET 2007

Hi all,

On Dec 28 2006, 4:51 pm, "Paddy3118" <paddy3... at> wrote:
> This month there was/is a 1000+ long thread called:
>  "merits of Lisp vs Python"
> In comp.lang.lisp.
> If you followed even parts of the thread, AND previously
> used only one of the languages AND (and this is the
> crucial bit), were persuaded to have a more positive view
> of the other language;

I sort of fall into this category. I'm a Java developer by trade, but
use Python for all of my non-work related projects, and any scripting I
need at work. I hadn't looked at Lisp.

I've been tempted a few times to look more into Lisp, especially after
reading some of Paul Graham's stuff which has a strong bias toward

The thread gave me a kick start into looking into Lisp more deeply, and
over the Christmas break I downloaded CLisp and ordered a couple of
Lisp books. There were no arguments that persuaded me particularly -
more curiosity about a few of the concepts that were bandied about:

a) Closures - and what they give you that Python co-routines don't.
b) Macros - how they can be used, and what advantages they give you.

They were the real persuasion points for me.

So far? After a bit of pain getting started and finding decent docs
(while waiting for the books to arrive) I've found the language quite
easy to use. I haven't got into closures or macros yet - I need to get
more familiar with the basics first, but first impressions are
favorable. It seems that there is nothing conceptually in Python that I
can't reasonably easily do in Lisp, but the Python syntax is much more
straightforward for most of the basics I think (such as dictionaries,
sets, list comprehensions etc), and the function/naming conventions for
the core language is much clearer and more obvious than in Lisp.

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