February 05, 2002
Lisp Cookbook

Edmund Weitz is attempting to organize a "Lisp Cookbook" in the same vein as the Perl Cookbook, which provides solutions to everyday tasks like reading configuration files, or reading a random line from a file.

This could be very useful. There are a lot of common-practice Lisp idioms and techniques that it would be difficult for a new programmer to find out about unless they work directly with more advanced programmers. E.g., how to write variable binding macros that allow declarations.

The development of a cookbook may also motivate some sort of consensus for other problems where there may not be a common solution, or at least discussion of several alternative solutions and how to determine which is most appropriate. E.g., Doing search and replace in sequences, reading telnet-style lines terminated by CR LF, or writing robust TCP server code.

It will be interesting to see where this project is six months from now.

Posted by jjwiseman at February 05, 2002 10:11 AM

I love this idea. I think the barrier to entry for Lisp is higher than for other languages (C, Java, Perl, Python) because it's harder to create silly little programs you can pass off to your friends, whether that's because of system dependence, image creation, lack of a free cross-platform GUI, &c. Anything which helps the newbie achieve practical results faster is good.

Posted by: Michael Hannemann on February 5, 2002 08:38 PM
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