Subject: Re: I don't understand Lisp
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1998/09/24
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Barry Margolin <>
| Just about every language allows libraries of functions to be used.

  I had hoped we could avoid re-stating the bloody obvious.  the question
  is whether it is part of the pragmatics of the language and whether it is
  part of the culture of the language.  the problem to solve is how this
  came to be and what can be done about it if is not as we want it to be.

| Similar libraries for Lisp can and have been written, but because they're
| not part of the language there's not much consistency from site to site,
| so the experience isn't very portable.

  I had also hoped you would have noticed that I tried to discuss some of
  the explanations for this situation that had non-zero predictability for
  the future, not just dead "facts".  your statement is like saying "the
  media focus heavily on Clinton these days".

| What packages are you referring to in the case of Perl?

  tcp, various html tools, php, etc.  don't pretend you don't know if you
  at all know Perl.

| Its string handling is built in, and has been for years.

  don't be so damn stupid.

| In addition, Perl is easily extended with libraries and modules.

  ah, and Lisp isn't?  come on, what's your agenda here?  it certainly
  isn't discussing anything intelligently even _close_ to the topic.

| The popularity of Perl has encouraged the formation of the CPAN, which
| maintains a well-known module repository.

  I believe the popularity of Perl and CPAN have the same cause, and that
  CPAN helped create the popularity much more than it was caused by it.

  again, please try to understand that I'm trying to discuss the aspects of
  languages that make people (1) believe they can be extended easily, and
  (2) willing to use extensions.  you appear more interested in stating the
  bloody obvious and in defendng Perl.  you have only succeeded in annoying
  me with your inanities and bickering.  I hope that satisfies you.

  now, let's get back to why Lisp appears not to be extensible and why
  people are so heavily focused on what's in the _standard_ in order to do
  anything useful with Lisp.