March 24, 2005
Three Posts on Lisp Syntax

François-René Rideau has some interesting posts about the importance and supremacy of Lisp syntax: First, What Makes Lisp Great, with emphasis on Lisp's syntax and why metaprogramming is good, and easy in Lisp (I particularly enjoyed Bawden's “Quasiquotation in Lisp” paper to which Rideau refers).

(Lots of ((Irritating, Spurious) (Parentheses)))” tries to answer common criticisms of Lisp syntax (such as the ones that show up in the comments of the previous post).

In “Parsing Considered Harmful”, Rideau argues that the question of programming syntax has been settled, and the obsession with parsing and syntax in computer science curricula is hurting America.

Posted by jjwiseman at March 24, 2005 11:45 PM

His critic in the comments section just gets more and more embarrassing. I shook my head in disbelief at this one: "Syntax matters. The semantics of all useful languages is identical." This is the ignorance we face.

Posted by: Dave Herman on March 27, 2005 08:26 AM

Agreed. And the fact that you can sweeten the syntax of Lisp (try that with the popular imperative languages) in any way that makes sense for your style or application makes the "syntax matters" argument even more silly

Posted by: John O'Connor on March 27, 2005 10:46 AM
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