Subject: Re: Why is Scheme not a Lisp? From: Erik Naggum <email@example.com> Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002 18:55:20 GMT Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> * Erann Gat | The introduction to R5RS says, "Scheme was the first major dialect of | Lisp to [have certain distinguishing features]". So it does call itself | a "dialect of Lisp." * Erik Naggum > When was this written? * Erann Gat | R5RS is dated 20 February 1998. It's the most recent Scheme standard. OK, I see I have to be extremely explicit here. That bores the hell out of me, so I am not going to repeat the effort. When people write something, they do so in a particular context, even though they are not necessarily consciously aware of this context. In particular, the meaning of a word is contextual and the external references refer to other things as they both exist and are understood by the particular person at that particular time. In particular, a sentence like the above might have been true once, but the common referent for "Lisp" may change, so it has to be understood in its historical context. The Bible works that way, and people have to assume (or "temporarily adopt", since you have demonstrated problems understanding this word, too) a special context to understand it properly. The same is true of most non-fiction, actually, and the more specialized some area is, the more context becomes explicit. In fact, the bibliographic references of a scientific paper works to establish the context in which the paper is written as well as its soundness. In particular, a scientific paper makes its position in time very explicit through its bibliographic references, and thus establish the time-dependent meaning of any term, the time-dependent status of any theory, and the time-dependent referents of a concept. The ability to understand that something changes in time, that it is indeed a "fourth dimension" that we travel through, seems to take some time for many people to develop, and the ability to understand that some words (like "gay", "negro") may change dramatically in meaning over a few years is usually resisted by some people who "liked" the old meaning (like "hacker"). So, too, is the case with the meaning of "Lisp" that Scheme freaks want to enforce, but they are dishonest, sloppy people with little or no experience in writing scientific papers (or this is a sloppiness done on purpose, which may be worse), because they have _not_ provided the particular time-dependent reference of "Lisp" as they have used it. Also note that I did not ask when the line was "published". I asked when it was _written_, specifically in order to request the time-dependent context of the particular sentence, since the sloppy writers somehow managed to omit that information in the otherwise anal-retentively detail-driven accuracy in that document. There is often a remarkable difference between the time of writing and the time of publication that I hope you will understand some day so I do not have to be extremely explicit about that difference, too. Sometimes I wonder if you are intentionally obtuse or if you cannot help it. I keep hoping that you can do better, which is probably why it is so annoying that you do not. Let me know if I should stop hoping. > The two languages and their attendant communities have drifted so far > apart that there is nothing of value in their intersection. | What about the use of S-expressions to represent both code and data? How about using characters to represent source code? /// -- In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none. In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief.