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If not, why not ?

If you don't use LISP, why not ?

(No im not Paul Grahams love child)

James
Friday, April 23, 2004

I haven't come about learning it. What are the reasons to learn LISP?

Peter Monsson
Friday, April 23, 2004

Thaks for your reply.

In the interests of keeping this thread on topic I wont tell you why you should learn LISP. Ill leave it to you to search this forum for such info.

James
Friday, April 23, 2004

Because I don't know what LISP is useful for or why anyone should learn it.  And apparently you don't think it's important enough even to give a one-minute blurb about; this only reinforces my belief.

Kyralessa
Friday, April 23, 2004

Actually I believe James was referring to the increasingly frequent attacks by thought police on this board who insist they know what is On Topic and what is Off Topic, and, in accordance with Philo's Fourth Law*, will waste eighty posts whining/bitching/arguing about a single five-line comment.

Philo

*Philo's Fourth Law: Demanding that a forum increase its signal to noise ratio has the opposite effect.

Philo
Friday, April 23, 2004

I am shaking my head, staring at the OP in a very confused manner. All the makings of a troll, and yet something is lacking.....

Aussie Chick
Friday, April 23, 2004

(Philo are you the OP??  *grin*)

Actually, the OP gave a good baiting question. I mean, it could have been better, but it worked. I am now curious about the wonders of lisp, but the OP refuses to give the followup...Shame about that, may have actually made an interesting topic...

Aussie Chick
Friday, April 23, 2004

OMG your so right Philo, how silly of me.

I have not detailed my thoughts about LISP as I am trying to solicit your opinions on why you may not have used LISP. I didnt want to say I think you should because of "X" as this usually sparks a debate about "X" vs "Y".  And I want you opinions on why you havent used LISP, not on your agreement or otherwise as to feature "X" vs feature "y" etc.  Dang Philo, right again !

Why dont you use LISP ?

If its because you havent bothered to learn it, then thanks, I know why you dont use it.

James
Friday, April 23, 2004

ps - Im not trying to troll.

James
Friday, April 23, 2004

LISP is incredibly simple and pure in many respects. I find it hard to believe its not in more mainstream use. Yes the syntax and "way" it is may be hard to grasp at first but when you do grap it, there is a uniform simplicity to it that certainly appeals to me. YES -  I suggest you try it. I also hope that you find it as rewarding as I have.

James
Friday, April 23, 2004

Well, I have never ever touched Lisp, though the name always brings to mind Scheme and Prolog (don't ask why I don't know).

Now that you have properly explained why you are not going to talk about Lisp, perhaps you will at some other stage as it would be interesting to hear a discussion about it. (yes X vs Y debates probably would emerge, but ...)

Aussie Chick
Friday, April 23, 2004

James, have you tried FORTH?  The syntax and "way" it is may be hard to grasp at first but when you do grap it, there is a uniform simplicity to it that certainly appeals to me.

Of course, I haven't done FORTH in a long time.

Almost Anonymous
Friday, April 23, 2004

Aussie Chick,

I will certainly talk about LISP in more depth at another point in time. Hopefully the responses I get from this post will help me shape a post about LISP in such a way as to be encouraging and insitefull to those who have not used LISP" and even those who have.

Of course 1v1 email on the topic is fine by me too !
(Im a fellow Aussie)    <-- this is LISP :)

James
Friday, April 23, 2004

Almost Anonymous,

I have not tried FORTH and I will look at it, but can you tell me "why" you have not tried LISP ?

James
Friday, April 23, 2004

I think all programmers have, at one time, gone off on language evangelism.  In the past, I've done it.  I don't do it anymore, probably because I now know too many languages, too many frameworks, and too many platforms.

I use VisualBasic for Windows applications -- even though I do more C++ coding these days than VB coding.  I use PHP, instead of ASP (or ASP.NET) for web development, even though I'm an expert VB programmer.  And I just don't like Java, for anything...

LISP?  Give me a good reason for using it and maybe I'd give it a try.  But it probably won't help me with my next Windows application.  Or my next web application.  Or my next smartphone application.  So...  what's the point!

Almost Anonymous
Friday, April 23, 2004

It's an interesting question, for me.

I *love* Lisp. It felt "right" from the first moment I understood how it works. It started with a SICP course in Uni, and went on with an AI course.

But where would I use it ? The lack of good & portable libraries is a big --. Lisp must interact with the outer world somehow... How ? At work we code in C and C++, for personal uses I code Perl - it's powerful, very portable and has good libraries for just about everything.

I hope I'll get the opportunity to learn Lisp someday. At work, one guy is a really uber-hacker, he wrote a Verilog compiler in Lisp - a tool that runs "in production" as part of our project. But people here are still mad at him for that, since no one bar him understands it. BTW, he wrote the front-end in Lex/Yacc (In C) and fed the results to Lisp - again a proof that Lisp's "interfaces" are problematic.

Eli Bendersky
Friday, April 23, 2004

I meant "I hope I'll get the opportunity to REALLY USE Lisp someday"

Eli Bendersky
Friday, April 23, 2004

Eli,

Thanks for your response.
Can you elaborate on how it felt "right" to you here or preferably in a private email (so as to keep the thread on topic).

James
Friday, April 23, 2004

As I have said before, the only part about Lisp I LOVE is the CLOS. It just "feels" right.
So why don't I use it?
- Good LISP is expensive
- Where once LISP development environments where state-of-the-art, they now feel quaint and hopelesly anachronistic in an age of VS.NET ide's and debugging facilities
- Common Lisp, once derided for its large library, now compares poorly to mdern Java or .NET libraries.
- GUI's: CLIM? Or should we go Interop?
- LISP IMHO is harder to get good performance out.
- C# has a great "get things done" community, wheras the LISP community seems more "academic"

That were just some things that sprang to mind. Maybe a really well done CL.NET could be usefull for some specific subproject parts.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, April 23, 2004

Why not lisp? Because it is inappropriate for the type of programming I do.

KM

P.S. I do mostly NT kernel-mode programming :-).

Keith Moore [exmsft]
Friday, April 23, 2004

I don't use Lisp because I don't see it making me more employable. I see no locally published jobs requesting Lisp programmers. I know no one who is employed as a Lisp programmer. I know no one who programs in Lisp on his own.

Glade Warner
Friday, April 23, 2004

The Ted's First Law:

Making up a law and naming it after yourself makes you look like a pompous ass!

The Ted
Friday, April 23, 2004

Why don't I use lisp? Because my first job was writing win32 apps in C, and trainees generally don't make those decisions. Now that I know all about win32/C/MFC/C++, I don't feel the need to use anything else. Occasional dabble in VB, but that's it.

The Ted
Friday, April 23, 2004

I think that Lisp is used more often as a semantic model than an actual language syntax (ie: the syntax of S-expressions).  As part of my basic set of tools, I've made an Earley parser-generator and a Lisp interpreter to simplify all kinds of language analysis problems, for example.  But it's just another computational model.  Don't use it just for the sake of using it.

Kalani
Friday, April 23, 2004

One's  Law

And prefixing you name with "The" as in The Dude, make's one seem like a pompous as too.

Tapiwa
Friday, April 23, 2004

that was supposed to be pompous ass

Tapiwa
Friday, April 23, 2004

I wrote a small amount of LISP in college.  I don't now because:

1.  A lack of libraries
2.  An irritating syntax (yes, I appreciate the power of S-expressions, but the mass of parentheses and the cryptic keywords can get obnoxious).
3.  I haven't really encountered anything where I've thought "Wow, LISP would be great for this!".  I don't know if there's a great niche for it, right now.
4.  Opportunity cost - I could learn LISP, or I could do more work with languages I know, learn Python or Ruby, etc.

If Paul Graham's Arc gets off the ground, I might be persuaded to investigate that, but a release version looks to be a ways off.

Matt
Friday, April 23, 2004

In agreement with Eli -- I write with and for a group now, and purity of syntax can't compare in importance to maintainability.

I've written Lisp in school.  I like talking about its language constructs from time to time.  I think I'm a better programmer in the languages I do use because I have that background.  And there is a beauty to it, if not one I can explain.  If I were programming in search of enlightement, I might have to continue with it until I understood it at that level.  However, I'm trying to build a program that will last.  Anything which will be dead and scary as soon as that one guy/girl leaves is anathema in my eyes, no matter if I agree with the reasons.

Unexpectedly, I find there's as much art to gardening the code tree to keep the project alive and tending in a positive direction as there is to the more hardcore but scope-limited definitions of beauty.  And thankfully, as a gardener, I still have chances to get deeply anal about individual language features from time to time.

Hope that helps explain some of us....

Mikayla
Friday, April 23, 2004

I just can't imagine using LISP to solve any problem.  Bottom line.  Especially if I can already envision the imperative code to do the same job, which I can.  So LISP is simply not a consideration, for any programming I do.

pds
Friday, April 23, 2004

Egads Tapiwa!!!

Sarcasm loses its effect when you have to TELL people that it's SARCASM!!!!

Turn your sarcasm filter back ON and then READ THIS:

http://discuss.fogcreek.com/newyork/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=5457&ixReplies=42

p.s. the 'The' in front of my name was more sarcasm directed at 'The Donald' in the apprentice threads.

Hope This Helps!!!!

The Ted
Friday, April 23, 2004

>>If you don't use LISP, why not ?

Because.

Suffering Succotash
Friday, April 23, 2004

- Lack of libraries

- Fragmented community

- Development tools were difficult to pickup and often ridiculously priced

Matt
Friday, April 23, 2004

I promised my grandmother (on her deathbed) that I wouldn't.  I'm not sure why she made me promise that, but her facial expression turned really peaceful once I had agreed.  Then she passed, quietly.

name withheld out of cowardice
Friday, April 23, 2004

I haven't learned LISP because I don't need to.

a
Friday, April 23, 2004

Well, I'd like to. I've no patience for C++/Java-style programming, and there's something incredibly elegant and beautiful about the way Lisp "thinks", even if I haven't quite managed to put my finger on it yet. (Language aesthetics fascinate me; alas my technical abilities aren't up to much.) But I've much the same problems with it as everyone else does, and currently Lisp seems of little more than academic interest. I'd also like to use Dylan (do "stealth Lisps" count?:), but it seems to be somewhat out in the sticks as well so can't see that happening either.

Still, I figure it's probably only another decade or two till somebody successfully [re]invents a Lisp "for the rest of us", and then we can all stop mucking around and get on with doing something useful for a change. Now I just gotta live that long... ;)

has
Friday, April 23, 2004

"If you don't use LISP, why not ?"

Because I work in a bakery in Queens now and my job has been outsourced to another part of the world.

I still use calculator though.

Jack in Yankee's stadium
Friday, April 23, 2004

For the same reasons that I don't use SmallTalk:

1. Bad syntax. Or maybe, just not enough syntax.
Yeah, Lisp has some really great features, but the fact that everything needs to be wrapped up in (()))))((()))(() just makes the whole thing harder to read than seems strictly necessary.

2. Insufficient portability.
Every Lisp dialect is unique and beautiful. Unfortunately, the portability between different Lisps isn't so great. It did get better right around the time I gave up on Lisp.

3. Nobody else uses it, either.
This means that there's relatively little support for building a full-featured application, nor are there huge numbers of users out there helping each other out.

I didn't put performance in there as as an objection because it's frankly not relevant for 80% of what I do, but that's a problem for some people, I'm sure.
-Mark

Mark Bessey
Friday, April 23, 2004

"Well, I have never ever touched Lisp, though the name always brings to mind Scheme and Prolog (don't ask why I don't know)."

Scheme is sort of a slimmed down version of LISP.  Prolog is nothing like either, though.

I have never really understood the complaints about the parentheses in LISP/Scheme.  You use an editor with paren matching, and you use proper indentation, and it simply is not an issue.

MikeMcNertney
Friday, April 23, 2004

lisp - To speak imperfectly, as a child does.

I think all professionals should aim for a higher standard.

!
Friday, April 23, 2004

Very interesting indeed.
Is there soemthing that would make you use LISP ?
Of course I mean something other than being given huge $$ to do so.

James
Saturday, April 24, 2004

The Ted.

Seems like my sarcasm was lost on you.

In this part of the world, it is the Stiff Upper Lipped Pompous Asses that speak in the third person!

Tapiwa
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

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