Subject: Re: Please help
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/04/07
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

| In the normal course of things I use cons rather than push, append rather
| than nconc etc. because this tends to produce more maintainable, and bug-
| free code.
| To be honest I'm a little confused that others are disagreeing with this.

  that's a clear sign there's enlightenment to be found in becoming

  what people object to is the creation of garbage for no purpose, not the
  value of a more functional style.  just as with any other resource, there
  is no excuse for wanton waste, but that's what you favor and you think
  the textbooks favor, but the latter is not quite so.

  textbooks are allowed to introduce complexity in steps.  students are
  supposed to learn the full complexity of the issue through these steps,
  not stay at some step and not move on.  you argue as if students should
  _not_ move on, because the complexity of the "don't wantonly waste the
  resources" supposedly produces less maintainable and buggier code.  if I
  were to assume a psychological explanation for this mild delusion, it
  would be that you had been hurt by some mistake of this kind early on and
  have not quite learned to trust your skills afterwards.  now, please note
  that even if you don't like this explanation, you should not be surprised
  when more experienced programmers naturally gravitate towards that kind
  of explanation.  as you get more experience, the silly bugs created by
  using destructive operations in the wrong places should go away simply
  because that's that experience is all about.

  also, functional programming has enough problems being viewed as the
  right thing that it does not need to be associated with needless creation
  of garbage.  that's the kind of laziness no programmer should be proud of.

  if nothing else, I hope you understand why people "disagree" with your
  view that this is about functional style.