off-topic: Why is lisp so weird?

From: nobody (nobody_u_should_no_at_yahoo.com)
Date: 02/29/04


Date: 28 Feb 2004 21:12:28 -0800

Howdy, Mike!

mikecoxlinux@yahoo.com (Mike Cox) wrote in message news:<3d6111f1.0402271647.c20aea3@posting.google.com>...
> I'm a C++ programmer, and have to use lisp because I want to use
> emacs. I've gotten a book on lisp, and I must say lisp is the ugliest
> looking language syntax wise. What is up with this: (defun(foo()).

(DEFUN FOO () NIL)

> What were the lisp authors thinking? Why did Stallman use lisp in
> emacs so extensively?

C and C++ did not exist at the time. Do you think he should have used
Fortran for this? *shudder*

If someone, although not RMS, admittedly, was writing a new extensible
editor today, a combination of C++ and Python would have probably be
chosen.

> Why oh why does such a weird and strange
> looking language end up in a major software package so now I have to
> learn it?

You can use better editors than Emacs. I'll give you a hint: no
12-finger key combinations with right clicking
and waving of a rubber wildebeest are happening in my office.

> My mind boggles at the craziness of lisp, and stallman's
> decision to add so much of it to lisp.

(SETF THIS-PARAGRAPH
    `(PARAGRAPH
        "do not eval this inside omega-forms unless you know what you
are doing!"
        (SENTENCE
           (HOPE I
              (CLAUSE
                 (FEEL YOU (ADJECTIVE GOOD)))))

        (SENTENCE
           (WHO-ME-P
              (PAST-TENSE
                 (USE (MAKE-SYMBOL "LISP")
                    :WHEN (PERIOD :FROM (YEAR 1982)
                                  :TO (YEAR 1991)))))
           (CLAUSE
             (FEEL I (BELONGS :SUBJECT YOU PAIN)))

           (BUT-CLAUSE
              (PAST-PERFECT
                 SEE YOU (ONLY (THE (CL::FIRST ICEBERG))))))

        ;; *shudder* is a special variable !

        (SENTENCE
           (CAN YOU (USED GET (TO (THE (MANY PAREN))))
              :WHEN ,(LAMBDA (X) (> X (SEVERAL (MANY WEEK))))))

        ,(LET ((SURFACE T))
             `(SENTENCE
                  ((DOUBLE MUCHO) :CONTENT 'ATROCITY
                                  :WHERE? ,(LOCATION :TYPE
'ABOVE-BELOW NIL SURFACE))))))

(PRINT (TRANSLATE-INTO-ENGLISH THIS-PARAGRAPH))

--> "I hope you feel better. As someone who used Lisp from 1982 to
1991, I feel your pain, but you have only seen the tip of the iceberg.
You can get used to the parens after a few weeks of using them a lot.
Larger atrocities are beneath the surface"

> If someone can answer my questions, I will spend less time with the
> emacs psychiatrist!

Just walk away and never look back, if you value whatever sanity you
have left in you, mate!

HTH