Subject: Re: Help required on Limitations of Lisp
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1997/11/09
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Hasita Shah
| I am a student who has been asked to prepare a report on limitations of
| Lisp.  However, I have never used Lisp before and cannot get reference
| material on it here in Kenya.

I suggest you report the limitations of your teacher's pedagogical skills
to whoever has the authority to fire him and refund any expenditures you
may have accumulated.

there are many things that can fruitfully be requested of students with
little or no experience or knowledge to report on, in the hopes that
throwing a whole class into deep water will eventually let a few survivors
make it to land, but I am uncertain both of the nature of those who survive
under such conditions and of the usefulness of focusing on the limitations
of unknown languages.  even after many years of study, it takes bright and
conscientious students to be able to distinguish their own limitations from
those of the language under study.  limitations of a language usually
surface in practical use: when the amount of manual labor required to
obtain a needed behavior is growing out of proportions, one may be looking
at the limitation of a language, whether it be its specification or its
implementation, but even then most likely the implementation.

not that "the limitations of Lisp" wouldn't be an interesting report, but I
would much rather it be prepared by somebody with at least 20 years of
experience with the language and the specification, plus at least 5
different implementations, than an ignorant student under pressure.

you can still get access to reference material if you're on the Internet.
point your browser to <URL:>.
this is the specification for Common Lisp (or, as they point out, a derived
product of the specification as published by American National Standards
Institute (ANSI)).

if you think this year is "97", _you_ are not "year 2000 compliant".

see for GNU Emacs 20-related material.