$10K coding deathmatch

Levi Pearson levi at cold.org
Fri Nov 3 11:05:42 MST 2006

On Nov 3, 2006, at 10:03 AM, Daniel C. wrote:

> For a language whose brevity is much praised, this solution -
> especially compared to the Perl one - is a bit long.  I suppose the
> problem size has a lot to do with it.

There are two factors at play here.  One, I made no attempt to  
optimize the solution for brevity, as I think brevity by itself is a  
ridiculous thing to optimize for.   I try to optimize for  
succinctness and clarity, but I didn't even try too hard at that for  

Two, the supposed 'brevity' of Lisp does not necessarily mean less  
source code in total, though I imagine it will often end up with less  
source code than something like Java.  It relates more to the style  
of programming where the language is built up towards the solution,  
so the solution logic itself can be expressed very clearly and  
succinctly.  Sometimes this requires a fair amount of code, but if  
designed well none of it should be redundant or overly verbose.

Lisp is designed for building large, complex programs, not one-line  
throwaway scripts, so comparing its verbosity to perl is kind of  
silly.  I would imagine that large, well-designed perl and Lisp  
programs would have roughly similar size.


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