[Tutor] OT self-implementation?

Sean Perry shaleh at speakeasy.net
Sat Jul 2 03:10:05 CEST 2005

Brian van den Broek wrote:
> Now's not the time in my life to start a comp. sci. degree. So, my 
> questions are:
> 1) What would be good terms to google for to find an explanation of 
> how the seeming magic doesn't violate all reason?
> 2) Much harder, so please pass unless you've a link you know of 
> off-hand: any recommendations of particular things that I could read?

try a book on compiler design. If you have programmed for any length of 
time, the ideas will be easy enough to follow even if you do not follow 
the data structures and algorithms side.

As for the lisp people, they insist everyone has been reimplementing 
lisp - badly. That is the advantage of being one of the first languages.

To directly answer them, the lisp language was originally a mathematics 
theory. It was not meant to be run, you were supposed to apply logic to 
the thing. Then someone noticed that if you ran (eval myprog) suddenly 
your script could execute itself and the interpreter was born.

How do you build tools without tools? That is the basis of your 
question. Ponder that. If you wanted to start your own blacksmith shop a 
thousand years or so ago, how would you do it? How do you make a framing 
square actually be square without using another square?

More information about the Tutor mailing list