How security holes happen

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at
Wed Mar 5 16:47:40 CET 2014

On Wed, 05 Mar 2014 00:48:40 +0200, Marko Rauhamaa wrote:

> Ethan Furman <ethan at>:
>> Okay, that looks totally cool. Maybe I'll finally get a handle on LISP!
>> :)
> Lisp is conceptually simpler than Python, but awe-inspiring. One day, it
> will overtake Python, I believe.

That day was 25 years ago. According to the long-term TIOBE index, 25 
years ago Lisp was the second most popular programming language in the 
world, behind only C.

I don't think Lisp has gotten easier, or the average programmer smarter, 
since then. The average programmer has difficulty with while loops, do 
you really think that someday they'll grok lambda calculus? *wink*

Seriously, Lisp is not only one of the oldest high-level languages 
around, being almost as old as Fortran and Cobol, but it was one of the 
biggest languages of the 1970s and even into the 80s. Companies spent 
millions developing, and using, Lisp compilers. There were even Lisp 
machines, actual hardware machines not virtual, where the CPU could 
execute Lisp instructions directly in hardware.

It did not last. It's not that the computer industry hasn't discovered 
Lisp, it is that they discovered it, gave it a solid workout for 20 
years, and then said "Nope, this isn't for us."

Steven D'Aprano

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