Subject: Re: About the usage of throw/catch
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 2000/01/08
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Alexis ARNAUD <>
| at my university, a computer scientist says the usage of throw/catch in
| Lisp constitutes "dirty programming".

  it continues to puzzle me that people who are willing to accept that in
  any field worth studying, there will always be a limit to how much _one_
  person can know, for simple logistical reasons: it takes too much time to
  learn it all, like much longer than a human lifetime.  yet in computer
  science, that which one person, typically less than 30 years of age,
  doesn't know is somehow bad, unworthy, dirty, etc.  I'm inclined to
  believe that such people are inherently unable to deal with complexity
  beyond their own immediate grasp, and as such should not be dealing with
  computer science in the first place, since the whole field is all about
  managing complexity far beyond direct human capabilities, despite the
  evidence we see from dummies who want to learn "programming" in 21 days.

  ask your "computer scientist" whether the use of exceptions is also bad.
  while you're at it, ask her if the RETURN statement in C is dirty, too.
  and if the problem is that GOTO's are bad, what about WHILE?  WHILE is no
  more than dressed-up version of GOTO.  THROW and CATCH are similarly a
  form of GOTO that are not only dressed up, they have university degrees.