Subject: Re: I don't understand Lisp
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1998/09/13
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* (David Steuber "The Interloper")
| I am really more interested in Common Lisp though.  Still, the scanning
| should be the same.  As far as I know, no one has been dumb enough to do
| the interpreter in Java like I want to.

  I take this to mean that you think the lexical analysis of Scheme and
  Common Lisp are similar or the same.  this is not so.  Common Lisp has a
  programmable reader that is used to read Lisp forms, while Scheme uses a
  very static syntax that is even outside of Scheme itself.  (i.e., Common
  Lisp uses READ and uses the value of *READTABLE* even for code, while
  Scheme cannot use READ because the syntax is specified as sequences of
  characters, not as forms.)

  I also don't think you really want an interpreter for Common Lisp.  it
  seems like less work to compile Common Lisp to the JVM elsewhere, and
  then compile enough Common Lisp code to sustain a development enviroment
  on the JVM itself.  I haven't seen any reports from the several people
  who have expressed interest in such a stunt over the past couple years,
  but you will certainly be a hero if you do it.

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