Subject: Re: Lisp is alive, was "Re: Common LISP: The Next Generation"
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1996/09/18
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

[Glenn Ehrlich]

|   Isn't the semantics more important the syntax?

generally speaking, if this were true, we would not see the syntax-fixation
that the whole industry is built on.  syntax _distinguishes_ programming
languages from each other; the semantics is only a question of how much of
the syntax you need to implement it.  e.g., if CFRONT can produce C code
from C++, so can a human.  syntax can help automate the expression of the
semantics in very important ways, or serve to frustrate the same process.
however, certain operations are possible (that is, sufficiently easy) on
certain syntaxes, which leads me to the more specific interpretation.

one part of the reason why I like Lisp is that I and the compiler can use
the same functions to read and write the source code, not only in macros,
but in codewalkers and automated editing tasks.  `read'ing Java or any of
the C-family languages is dreadfully painful.  writing out what you have
read in is somewhat easier, but not much.

|   I think one of the really valuable lessons that Dylan has shown is that
|   you can have a successful infix syntax *and* have all of the Lisp
|   goodies.

_all_ of the Lisp goodies?  except macros, except `read' on source code,
except `pprint', except ...

those who do not know Lisp are doomed to reimplement it