Subject: Re: Why lisp failed in the marketplace
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1997/02/28
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp,comp.lang.scheme
Message-ID: <>

* Erik Naggum
| (Scheme, in contrast, gives me the feeling that this kind of "grunt
| work" is _not_ bad -- Scheme programmers implement complex stuff with
| basic buildings blocks over and over, it seems.)

* Paul Schaaf
| I'm trying to learn Scheme--I'm almost finished with SICP--but I don't 
| understand your statement.  Could you elaborate?  

the lack of generalized functionality and the general low-level standard
substrate of Scheme means that you need to implement a very large number of
functions that are already there in Common Lisp.  that is, this is true if
you program in Scheme, not in some particular Scheme _implementation_ or
Scheme + some non-standard library.

SICP doesn't teach you Scheme as much as it teaches you to think in terms
consonant with the computer, and I firmly believe that programmers need to
implement low-level stuff to learn how they work and how to use them, but I
draw a sharp line between learning and working; learning is a continuous
progression through new material, while working is mostly repeating a large
number of already well-known tasks as a means to create something new or
learn something so new that nobody can teach you.  it's the repetitive part
of work in "real life" that I find to be "grunt work", and which I want to

if you think big enough, you never have to do it