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Re: Some more debconf queries

I should *really* just shut up now, and I actually will this time
because we're way off topic and we're definitely just somewhat on
opposite sides of a fence here, but a couple of minor points, and then
I'll direct my future responses via private mail.

Eray Ozkural <exa@ttnet.net.tr> writes:

> And with LISP, you get to destroy some of the design objectives
> of a good programming language, like readability and writability.

We obviously just disagree on this one, given decent editors.  For
example, I'm much more put off by python's "indentation as syntax"
than I am by parentheses[1], and other than that python sounds like a
pretty strong language.

[1] And practically speaking it's a terrible design if you want to be
    able to automatically generate embeddable modular code.  Still, if
    it and perl manage to displace Tcl, I'll be a happy man.

> How many of your applications are written in Scheme? Heh heh, this
> is my argument against Java, but it applies to LISP and variants as
> well.  Hey, there's a whole world of emacs here, but isn't it dying?
> :>

Ummm.  We'll I'm one of the primary authors of gnucash, and it's
written in a combination of scheme and C, with scheme regularly
becoming a larger fraction of the code.  If it does well, then a whole
lot of people will be using an app written in large part in scheme :>

And AFAIK, emacs isn't dying.  If it is, it's sure taking a long time.
Your and my worlds just differ.  I'm not claiming that scheme/lisp
*will* take over the world, but it's certainly a large fraction of
mine.  I'm sure that's not true for many, but I set out to make it
that way.

> Coming up with another language may feel very evil, but isn't Perl
> so? Why has tons of Perl code amassed on my potato box?

Perl is too useful to ignore, and I know it well, but that doesn't
mean I love it.  In fact I have a very healthy
relationship with perl ;>

It certainly soundly trounces shell scripting for many purposes, but
I'd use guile in a second if it had a bit more of the functionality I
need for the jobs in question, and if it was nearly as ubiquitous, but
who knows, maybe someday.  If emacs does switch to guile, then guile
will go everywhere...

> Yeah, but I like talking about toy/experimental languages of any
> sort.

I think we mostly agree here, but right now I'm just fundamentally
most interested in how the language works, and what it lets you do,
rather than how it looks.

Using a lisp/scheme syntax means you can just skip a whole layer of
the "appearance issues" and dive right in to the function issues.  Now
I know that the two are related, but you can get a lot of good
OO/metaclass/whatever research without ever having to worry about
where the semicolons/colons/curlybraces go.

(I suppose we're now firmly having one of the age-old internet
 religious wars.  How quaint :>)

Rob Browning <rlb@cs.utexas.edu> PGP=E80E0D04F521A094 532B97F5D64E3930

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