Subject: Re: No Speka da Language (was Re: Scheme pedophiles (was: Which one, Lisp or Scheme?))
From: (Rob Warnock)
Date: 1997/02/19
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp,comp.lang.scheme
Message-ID: <5eeeli$>

Simon Brooke <> wrote:
| If a language is one of the main tools of your daily trade, you will
| learn it's vocabulary...

But what if it isn't? ...part of your *daily* trade, that is?

| But what I take as the core of your argument is that Scheme is more
| suitable for casual users than Common LISP. This may be so; if so it
| may consequently be more suitable for teaching purposes. It doesn't
| mean that it's better for developing and expressing algorithms...

But it *is* better than several of the alternatives for developing and
expressing algorithms when used by "casual users".

When squeezing the last little bit of performance or expressibility
out of our languages we often forget that there is a *vastly* larger
number of people who'd just like to be able to occasionally do something --
whether it be tweaking the reject list of a mail filter or adding up
selected entries in one's pilot's log book -- in a way different than
a "standard" or commercial tool does it, which requires a spot of
programming. Yet for such *occasional* programmers, things like Perl &
Java & C/C++ or even perhaps CL [except that it's easier to remember/use
a *small* subset of CL than those others] are just "too complex".

(Perhaps even Scheme is too complex for such users, I don't know. But it
certainly stands a better chance of being useful to them, IMHO.)

I've been in computing more than half my life, and have used well over a
dozen languages. But at this point, I'd have to consider myself a "casual"
programmer; it's not my 8-hr-a-day job. As a result, every time I have
to touch any Perl, I find that I have to run to the Perl book to remember
how to do this or that. I never need to do that with Scheme. Thus, Scheme
is now my choice for almost any "quick hack".


Rob Warnock, 7L-551
Silicon Graphics, Inc.
2011 N. Shoreline Blvd.		Phone: 415-933-1673  FAX: 415-933-0979
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