Subject: Re: logical pathnames - lack of info?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2002 01:41:21 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Kent M Pitman
| We have sometimes discussed whether the mere name Lisp holds Lisp back.
| People think they know it from what it was years ago.

  When I decided to design a real markup language in the spirit of Common
  Lisp, I called it NML (for New/Naggum/whatever Markup Language),
  prnounced "enamel", and joked that the Common Lisp with <> instead of ()
  would be XCL, X for the hackneyed "extensible".  I wanted the Common Lisp
  reader to be told how to parse elements according to the first symbol in
  a list.  Like, <strong x> should read as a NML element of type strong
  with the string "x" as the contents.  Now, you would have to declare any
  symbols that would be read this way.  The default would be parse the
  contents as XCL, but then it dawned on me that this could be read as XCl,
  and considering that simple chlorides are also called "salts", figured
  that it would be "salt contents".

  There are lots of interesting things to say about "salt" as a name for a
  language.  The Next ANSI Common Lisp would be the Common Salt, NaCl.
  "Salt" is the etymological base for "salary", emphasizing the commercial
  value of the langauge, and its ancient value is found in expressions like
  "worth his salt", emphasizing a high standard of value, etc.

| I once half-jokingly suggested we call Lisp "c".  (Note, not "C".  It
| would be kinda funny if, in order to go after us legally for some kind of
| trademark infringement and/or fraud, the "C" community had to admit that
| case sensitivity wasn't really a good way of keeping name collisions from
| happening....)

  Devious...  :)

| The only place I've seen case-sensitivity usefully used is in situations
| like &ntilde; vs &Ntilde; in XML, where you want either n + ~ or N + ~
| depending on what case you've used.  That is, only when actually trying
| to talk about the alphabet itself, which presumably really does want case
| sensitivity at some level or wouldn't have upper and lower case at all.

  Chemical formulae tend to need case to distinguish between the elements.
  A symbol that held the name of symbols could of course be printed with
  the capitalize notation, and individually be unique, anyway...

  In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none.
  In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief.