Subject: Re: Read table modification question.
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 21:19:53 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Daniel Pittman <>
> I am using CMU Common Lisp (2.5.2) to write (well, prototype) a little
> language parser/compiler.

  If that language has Lisp nature, it is a good idea to use the Lisp
  reader.  If it does not have the Lisp nature, it is a very, very bad
  novice mistake to use the Lisp reader.  In general, few syntaxes have the
  Lisp nature.  The primary criterion is that the first character (possibly
  the first two) should determine the type of the object and the method of
  converting an character stream (text) representation into an in-memory
  representation (object).  The exceptions are symbols, which are whatever
  is left after a sequence of characters not otherwise startings an object
  is determined not to be a number.  This rule is part of the Lisp nature,
  and it is _not_ part of most other syntaxes.

> I would like to keep the syntax of the input, of course, as that's half
> the point of the prototype. :)

  If you care to know my opinion, I think semicolon-and-braces-oriented
  syntaxes suck and that it is a very, very bad idea to use them at all.
  It is far easier to write a parser for a syntax with the Lisp nature in
  any language than it is to write a parser for thet stupid semiconcoction.
  Whoever decided to use the semicolon to _end_ something should just be
  taken out and have his colon semified.  (At least COBOL and SQL managed
  to use a period.)
  Travel is a meat thing.