Subject: Re: Can I use Lisp?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 26 Oct 2000 23:46:59 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Fernando Rodríguez -> glauber
| Scheme was designed as a teaching and investigation tool, not for
| "real world" programming.

  The problem with tools that are only good for the teaching/learning
  process is that they are actually teaching many very bad things
  amidst all the good stuff.  It is good to learn how to build your
  own tools.  It is bad to learn that you have to, meaning that you
  are more likely to spend a lot of time building something that is
  already out there rather than try to understand it and use it.  It
  is good to learn recursion instead of iteration because it expands
  the way you think in ways those who don't grasp recursion cannot
  fathom.  It is bad _not_ to learn iteration and when it is a good
  thing, when it is more readable and understandable than recursion,
  and above all, when recursion would kill you performance-wise and
  iteration would not.  It's just like the irrational gotophobia that
  some students of programming have (no real programmer _fears_ goto)
  because they have never actually seen the hell and spaghetti code
  that they have been saved from by structured programming.

| As a learning language it has been far more successful that CL as a
| general purpose language. :-P

  Hmpf!  But this probably _is_ true.  Scheme succeeds because it is
  easy to teach to bright people and fun to implement.  Hence, we have
  about a million implementations of Scheme, and only one of them is
  good for anything more than teaching others how to implement Scheme.

  I agree with everything you say, but I would
  attack to death your right to say it.
				-- Tom Stoppard