The Lisp Curse…

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int main() {
   printf("Narrow mode enabled");
}

I stumble upon an article call the The curse of lisp where the author argues that lisp fails not because it is bad but because it allows individuals to be productive enough that they can create 80% solutions to many problems working on their own. Meaning it is possible to end up with perhaps buggy, undocumented, implementations that work for the authors intended use case and not much else. As it is easy to do your own implementation if you don’t like what is around.

Other languages, because it is more difficult to invent your own replacement tend to foster more team work and contributions to existing code bases.

I am not sure I totally agree with the arguments. The individualistic nature of Lisp is perhaps because people discovering/using it now are quite off the beaten path, so to speak, and are likely to be individualistic or value independent thought. They are also likely to be be more into exploratory programming rather than focusing on productions code.

I have not spend enough time in the world of Lisp to be sure but that stereo typing does let us arrive at a similar situation that the article was discussing. I could be wrong or perhaps I could be just trying to provide my half baked ideas to a problem :)

So far my Lisp adventure have been a little bit of Common Lisp and reading a book on Clojure (I finished it the other night). Neither has pulled me in if I am honest. Although I do have a much better understanding of things like Macros. This makes the Rust macros system make a lot more sense.

It did make me start to think on the question What makes an optimal language for a small team. In fact does it matter that much? was the first question I asked myself. For big teams productivity tends to be dragged down by build times, process and communication. Much of which is unavoidable but it may mean productivity is weakly correlated with language choice. Small teams, say 6 or less, operate in a very different landscape.

Err, that is about as far as I got on that route. I should cordon of an hour to think on it.

So given Common Lisp and Clojure have not pulled me in, I feel it would be remiss of me not at least to try Scheme. Probably Dr Racket but I have not determined the reading material to use.


422 Words

2019-07-30 23:00 +0000