Subject: Re: First-class symbols (Re: Why is Scheme not a Lisp?) From: Erik Naggum <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 21:05:37 GMT Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <email@example.com> * Erann Gat | "You guys"? I'm a Common Lisper, remember? Well, maybe I'm an | ex-Common-Lisper, but I'm definitely not a Schemer. I am not so sure about that. I think some of your unhappiness with Common Lisp comes from a Scheme-like mindset. The same goes for Paul Graham. I found a somewhat apt quote the other day: "After a year of therapy, my psychiatrist said to me: 'Maybe life isn't for everyone'" (credited to Larry Brown). | Show me something I can do with a Common Lisp symbol that it would take | more than a few lines of code to do in Scheme. But that is _so_ not the point. As Kent has belabored, the whole purpose of a language is to gove people a common frame of reference, a way of naming things that makes it possible to talk about them. It is quite amazing that you still do not understand this. A few lines of code is precisely what we do _not_ want. A simple, named concept is what this is all about. | > | What do you see as the value (in the economic sense) of a symbol in the | > | Lisp sense of the word? | > | > The same value I see in a word: _meaning_. Scheme symbols lack meaning. | > They are names, but they name -- nothing. Some people think words are | > just names, too, that the _only_ property a word has is its spelling | > (some of the more "creative" spellers not even that), and each word has | > meaning only according to the person you ask. That looks like a Scheme | > view to me. I believe a saner approach is to consider a word to have a | > life of its own, independent of the individual user, but created as a | > community effort as a common reference intended both to carry meaning and | > to facilitate communication and understanding. Some people believe that | > words give us the ability to think abstractly about ideas that are far | > too complex to grasp concretely, even ideas that have no concrete meaning. | | OK, that's fine, but it sounds more like a philosophical argument (or an | aesthetic one, or a pedagogical one) than a practical one to me. I find | this ironic because it's usually the Scheme peopl who make those kinds of | arguments, where Common Lisp (I thought) is supposed to be the Lisp for | practical people who want to dispense with the philosophy and just get | work done. Do you even understand your own question, Erann? What kind of answer would you expect? Fucking stupid troll. | So I still don't see why this is a big deal. I think you never will and that it is a waste of time to try to tell you. You would look much better as an ex-Schemer than an ex-Common Lisper. /// -- 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.