Subject: Re: Difference between LISP and C++ From: Erik Naggum <email@example.com> Date: 16 Oct 2002 17:18:49 +0000 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> * arien <email@example.com> | At least curly brace, semicolon, comma etc are all different. It becomes | easier to find the error, and the compiler will even tell you which line | has the error. This is a matter of what you have become used to. The belief that what you became used to /first/ should be the one and only guide for what you will do for the rest of your life, makes the random flow of experiences that you will encounter in your life a dangerous lottery instead of a continuous opportunity to revise and improve your views and opinions. Let me quote from Chapter 5 The Basics of Using Typefaces of a book that arrived today, as hot off the press as it gets when you ship books through our miserable fall temperatures: Readability Empirically we know that some typefaces are easier to read than others. Quite apart from the way texts are set--their typographic qualities--some typefaces are simply eaiser on the eyes and someare more difficult. This fact has always intrigued the scientifically minded of the type world, leading to decades of effort and scores of research projects dedicated to readability studies. The goals of these studies have been to learn what typographic practices enhance readability and to determine what kinds of typefaces are the most readable. Readability studies are notorious for coming to clouded and contradictory conclusions. Even consensus opinions have been cast into doubt. For example, it has long been an article of faith that seriffed types are easier to read than sans serif types (studies, naturally, disagree on the subject). Likewise, roman types have long been assumed to be more readable than italic types (one study even specified that they were 3% more readable). But yet another recent study has cast doubt on these stereotypes. The study compared the reading speeds of a group reading texts set in roman typefaces with those of a group reading texts set in the /Fraktur/, or /black-letter/, type popular in Germany until World War II. It has generally been assumed that because the strokes used in Fraktur types are so similar and so closely spaced, readers need more time to decipher the letters. Wrong. The study found that the reading speeds of those accustomed to reading Fraktur type were essentially the same as those used to reading text set in roman types. Bad typesetting and bad typeface design aside, the fact seems to be that the most readabale typefaces are the ones you're accustomed to reading. The study's conclusions don't mean that the stereotypes of sans serif and italics as being less readable aren't true. Popular design and typographic practice have made them true by using seriffed roman types as teh standard faces for books, magazines, and newspapers. Because they are what we're accustomed to, seriffed faces are more readable for us. I recommend this book: DDC 686.22 (typography); ISBN 0-321-12730-7; LCCN <unavailable>; 2003 James Felici The Complete Manual of Typography, a guide to setting perfect type | In lisp, all you have is parentheses, parentheses, and more parentheses. In reality, this is all you /see/, because you have been sensitized to the parentheses from your previous exposure. I have written previously on the pain factor of parentheses in the C family which causes people who come from that background to feel them acutely painful. Search google. | And if you get it wrong, lisp doesn't tell you. Yes, it does (insofar as "lisp" here refers to an implementation), but you have to accustom yourself to what the compiler expects and complains about. You have already succeeded in this with your first programming language. Now is the time to repeat that process with your next language. | *That's* why I have more problems with ()'s than I ever had in Java. People actually forget the pain of learning something and assume that when they know the first thing well, they should be able to learn the next thing with the same ease that they use the first thing. This is so horribly misguided that I fail to see how people can possibly believe it, but many people evidently do. I think it is because people only really learn one thing of each kind, the first they ever encounter, and hence never realize what it costs to learn anything, or they may actually fail at learning something and hence only accumulate simple-minded coping strategies in the face of repeated failure. Learning is /work/, however. -- 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.