A Tangential Discourse on Lisp and the Lineage of Languages

Jonathan Ellis jonathan at carnageblender.com
Sun Mar 12 18:19:01 MST 2006

On Sat, 11 Mar 2006 16:07:21 -0700, "Levi Pearson" <levi at cold.org> said:
> If you read through that, you'll see that [Lisp] includes two kinds of  
> expressions, s-expressions (which are fully-parenthesized, and the  
> native data format) and m-expressions that use brackets and a more  
> math-like notation (with the operator on the outside of the  
> brackets).  In the years that followed, programmers rejected the m- 
> expressions in favor of the s-expressions that make up today's  
> Lisps.  Hmm, maybe there's some value to the 'weird' syntax after  
> all, eh?

John McCarthy said that people essentially got used to s-expressions,
and m-expressions were never implemented
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-expression), which isn't quite the same
as your spin implies. :)

C++ is history repeated as tragedy. Java is history repeated as farce.  --Scott McKay

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