August 27, 2003
Hamish Harvey and Mike Hannemann both emailed me about this Register article about some representing-both-data-and-code-as-XML thing.
In all this gushing, never once is Lisp mentioned. If this isn't just Lisp in XML syntax, I want to know how it differs. If it is, I want to know why a patent is pending.
While Mike said
Can't we just bring back Lisp machines with a custom formatter to make people think it's doing XML instead?
I'd make a sarcastic joke here about my surprise at XML being associated with bad ideas, but it's really not worth it.
Posted by jjwiseman at August 27, 2003 12:38 AM
Now the question is: is this good or bad?
There seems to be a general movement of Regular Old Programming Languages (like python) to evolve more and more towards the existing Really Great Programming Languages (like lisp). Every time people hear about, say, python reinventing lambda (they're actually working on macros right now), they shout "why don't you use lisp?"
But to some extent, there is this whole Mohammed and the mountain thing going on. If they don't want to come to lisp, let lisp come to them. It's just waiting for the day somebody takes the last step and says "maybe this would be easier with parentheses." And who knows, maybe in the long run whatever they'll hit upon a useful abstraction or two that lisp doesn't have.
"'t Is een kwaastie vaan geduld
rustig waachte-n-op d'n daag
daat hiel holland limburgs lult
daat hiel holland limburgs lult"
> they[Python]'re actually working on macros right
I think you should check your sources.
Well, let me say it more carefully. The python people are discussing macros on and off. It comes up periodically. That kind of thing.
> Well, let me say it more carefully. The python
> people are discussing macros on and off. It comes
> up periodically. That kind of thing.
Thank you :-)
The difference between Lisp code and "XML code" is that Lisp is actually reasonable to program in. Also, most of the "XML programming languages" I've seen aren't very general-purpose.