Subject: Re: Why I can't use Lisp. From: Erik Naggum <email@example.com> Date: 03 Aug 2002 05:10:21 +0000 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> * Don Geddis | Bad programmers can implement bad algorithms in any language. This example | had nothing to do with the Lisp language. Actually, it might. If you learn one way to do things in Common Lisp, it is generally simpler and more elegant than anything you can do in any other language. This makes some people lapse into that comatose state where they are satisfied with what they have and cease to look further for more options. At some point, we all have to stop being vigilant about more options, lest we not get anything done at all, but what would be clumsy in any other language may feel sufficiently elegant to an inexperienced Common Lisp programmer. That it is syntactically superior to almost everything may belie the fact that it is algorithmically inferior to almost anything. Some people keep doing what they are good at instead of looking for new things until they conclude, after careful determination, that they should go back to what they are good at. /E.g./, I gave up on user interfaces as I had neither the inclination nor the time to become good at it. If I were a medical doctor, I would be an internist, not a dermatologist. I think it is crucial to a substantially correct assessment of one's abilities that one has a pretty good knowledge of the outer bounds of one's capacity, but that is again because I believe that being satisfied with being good at something far less than capacity will in time be deeply frustrating, instead. I see Common Lisp as the best language there is for exploring one's own abilities in programming, because one does not first meet an upper limit on the amount of fundamentally useless arcana one can internalize. When people write stupid code in Common Lisp, I almost feel as if they are betraying both the abilities of the language and their own. I sometimes wish it was harder to do stupid things in Common Lisp, but that would mean it would be harder to do smart things that nobody thought of before, too, and that is precisely what Common Lisp does not want to do. -- Erik Naggum, Oslo, Norway Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder. Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.