Subject: Re: Question: Lisp's power points
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 21:26:30 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Károly Ladvánszky
| I'm new to Lisp.  Would anyone be kind to show me a few short examples
| that demonstrate the power of Lisp?

  You seem to be a Microsoft user.  I am not.  Could you show me a few
  short examples that demonstrate the power of the Windows environment?

| I'm especially interested about the symbol manipulation features. Are
| there 'magic' constructs native to Lisp, constructs that would need a lot
| more coding in languages like C++?

  There are two kinds of constructs in a Common Lisp vs C++ comparison:

1 Those for which C++ uses one- or two-character prefix, infix, and postfix
  notation, where C++ excels in compactness and expressibility, which leads
  many people to think that C++ is somehow compact and easy to write and
  express yourself in, even while the bulk of your code is not using these
  small and elegant syntactic sugarcubes.

2 Those for which Common Lisp use the same syntax as everything else, where
  Common Lisp excels in overall compactness and expressibility because of a
  _much_ higher level of abstraction and much lower number of minor details
  that needs expressing, meaning that the value of a super-compact syntax
  for the simplest operators is correspondingly lower.

  It should be fairly obvious that comparisons have to be performed at two
  different levels at once and thus will produce no useful results if you
  do not already understand what you just compared on their own merits.
  My hero, George W. Bush, has taught me how to deal with people.  "Make no
  mistake", he has said about 2500 times in the past three weeks, and those
  who make mistakes now feel his infinite wrath, or was that enduring care?