Subject: Re: LISP for Windows From: Erik Naggum <email@example.com> Date: 1998/12/12 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> * Guilhem de WAILLY <email@example.com> | Really, We do not think that a language is powerful because it hashundred | of specification pages. See the lambda-calculus theory: Three lines of | grammar can describe every thing that modern languages can describe. there was this group of men who had grown up together and went to school together and worked together for their whole life, and now they had been placed in a home for the elderly together. they knew each other so well they had decided to number their stories instead of just retelling them over and over, which had gotten to be quite tedious. so they were sitting in the living room of this place and telling stories. "342!", said one, and all of them laughed. "916!", said another, and they snickered and looked at one of them who didn't smile at all. "426!", he retorted, and they all laughed out aloud. another elderly gentleman enters the living room and he overhears one of them say "720!". he bursts out laughing, much to the surprise of the other guys. "what are _you_ laughing at?", one asked, almost scornfully. "it wasn't _that_ funny!" "oh, I'm sorry," said the intruder humbly, "it's just that I hadn't heard that one before." seriously, I have three great sources on Lambda Calculus, all by H. P. Barendregt. one is his seminal work, The Lambda Calculus, Its Syntax and Semantics¹, a 622-page book. another is his chapter on Lambda Calculi with Types in the amazingly compact Handbook of Logic in Computer Science², a 193-page condensed exposition. (it ends with a sentence that had me laughing real hard when I first encountered it: "Glancing over the next few pages, the attentive reader that has worked through the proofs in this subsection may experience a free association of the whirling details." the following pages (296-298) are absolutely hilarious.) the third is a 12-page section in his article on Functional Languages and the Lambda Calculus in the truly fantastic work Handbook of Theoretical Computer Science³. I'd argue that these decrease in complexity in the order I listed them, but now only three lines, huh? I'm reminded of one guy who seriously believes that all of Ayn Rand's works can be expressed as "A is A", too. you all know that's Aristotle. #:Erik ------- ¹ ISBN 0-444-87508-5 ² ISBN 0-19-853761-1 for volume 2 ² ISBN 0-262-22040-7 for the two-volume set -- man who cooks while hacking eats food that has died twice.