Subject: Re: is lisp a general purpose lang?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Mon, 01 Apr 2002 09:06:13 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* cr88192 <>
| I got a copy of the ansi spec, and am almost intimidated by the size... 
| hopefully I really don't have to read that much...

  Excuse me?  You hope you do not have to read a thousand pages?  Why?  Are
  you illiterate or very hard of reading or something?  I have not kept
  record of how much I read every year, but it must be at least 12 000
  pages of nonfiction alone.  For the past 25 years or so, I have set aside
  2 hours a day to study or just read about something _unrelated_ to what I
  need to learn or work with, and probably spend even more on work-related
  reading.  This is in my view not a lot.  Learning to read and type fast,
  efficiently, and accurately is a requirement in modern society.

  With only two hours a day, the Common Lisp standard should take you no
  more than a month, with plenty of time to think about what you read, take
  notes, including deferring stuff for a later pass.  That is not, again in
  my view, not a lot to require of someone who wants to become a serious
  user of a programming language.  30 years of wisdom and insight in the
  Lisp community is made available in only 30 days.  Of course, it will
  take much longer to make use of all this, but at least you have been
  through it and have thought about it and provided a large number of
  "hook" on which you can hang various information you get when you ask
  people, and you can make connections that people who simply lack the
  knowledge cannot.

| I see emphasis placed on 1100 pages... r5rs is 50...  sorry if this is a
| problem...

  It means that R5RS is a short story you might chuckle or shudder at
  before you forget it while ANSI X3.226-1994 is a novel that enriches your

| really I want to implement the one that is hopefully simpler and
| hopefully have an underlying system flexible enough to include both.

  Why the hell do you want to implement it?

| when I was younger I used to use big books for bragging rights (I would
| say: I read this, and point to a 1000 to 1500 page book, but really I
| don't want to read that much...).

  Oh, so _that_ is the reason these idiot books were printed on cardboard
  with 36-point type.  Idiot bragging rights!  Good thing I never even
  thought of buying any of those.  My >1000-volume personal library seems
  to average about 400 pages to a volume, and a _large_ fraction of my
  books are more than 1000 pages thick, but they are printed on thin, high
  quality paper, not recycled cardboard, with fairly small print, not at
  all suitable for the fourth-grade reading level of most "computer" books.

| luckily the spec I got claims to be a simplified version, I do hope so...

  No, it is not, the HyperSpec (ANSI standard) is a standard.  Maybe Common
  Lisp is just not for you.

| oh yeah, I have no access to a real lisp machine so info about how one is
| put together might be helpful.

  Maybe you just need a Common Lisp environment that has already been built
  for you?

  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.