Lisp

Levi Pearson levi at cold.org
Tue Nov 7 22:09:17 MST 2006


On Nov 7, 2006, at 8:19 PM, Sasha Pachev wrote:
> I confess - I am not smart enough to get it. I think a functional  
> language is somewhat similar to a GUI interface - something that  
> goes against the sequential nature of the current CPU architecture  
> that were are still stuck with. Yes, we pipeline and multi-process,  
> but we are still sequential. The difference between the two is that  
> GUI is fit to be used by general public, while a functional  
> language only by a fairly small community of programmers that  
> naturally think that way.

Lisp is an applicative-order language, so everything happens in the  
same order in which it would in C, Java, etc.  It's neither purely  
functional (you can mutate variables, use objects, etc) nor lazy (the  
evaluation order is strictly specified).  It's got looping  
constructs, function calls, a printf-like function, etc.  You could  
learn it just fine if you felt like doing it; I know you're not  
dumb.  It's got a learning curve, but it's not THAT bad.

Haskell and similar languages are where things get weird, but  
although they don't work like the underlying hardware does, they /do/  
work like mathematics does.  Plenty of people can do math; they could  
probably write Haskell programs too, if they felt like taking the  
time to learn it.  People who can't do math should probably stay away  
from it, though. ;)

		--Levi



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