off-topic: Why is lisp so weird?

Discussion in 'C++' started by nobody, Feb 29, 2004.

  1. nobody

    nobody Guest

    Howdy, Mike!

    (Mike Cox) wrote in message news:<>...
    > I'm a C++ programmer, and have to use lisp because I want to use
    > emacs. I've gotten a book on lisp, and I must say lisp is the ugliest
    > looking language syntax wise. What is up with this: (defun(foo()).


    (DEFUN FOO () NIL)

    > What were the lisp authors thinking? Why did Stallman use lisp in
    > emacs so extensively?


    C and C++ did not exist at the time. Do you think he should have used
    Fortran for this? *shudder*

    If someone, although not RMS, admittedly, was writing a new extensible
    editor today, a combination of C++ and Python would have probably be
    chosen.

    > Why oh why does such a weird and strange
    > looking language end up in a major software package so now I have to
    > learn it?


    You can use better editors than Emacs. I'll give you a hint: no
    12-finger key combinations with right clicking
    and waving of a rubber wildebeest are happening in my office.

    > My mind boggles at the craziness of lisp, and stallman's
    > decision to add so much of it to lisp.



    (SETF THIS-PARAGRAPH
    `(PARAGRAPH
    "do not eval this inside omega-forms unless you know what you
    are doing!"
    (SENTENCE
    (HOPE I
    (CLAUSE
    (FEEL YOU (ADJECTIVE GOOD)))))

    (SENTENCE
    (WHO-ME-P
    (PAST-TENSE
    (USE (MAKE-SYMBOL "LISP")
    :WHEN (PERIOD :FROM (YEAR 1982)
    :TO (YEAR 1991)))))
    (CLAUSE
    (FEEL I (BELONGS :SUBJECT YOU PAIN)))

    (BUT-CLAUSE
    (PAST-PERFECT
    SEE YOU (ONLY (THE (CL::FIRST ICEBERG))))))

    ;; *shudder* is a special variable !

    (SENTENCE
    (CAN YOU (USED GET (TO (THE (MANY PAREN))))
    :WHEN ,(LAMBDA (X) (> X (SEVERAL (MANY WEEK))))))

    ,(LET ((SURFACE T))
    `(SENTENCE
    ((DOUBLE MUCHO) :CONTENT 'ATROCITY
    :WHERE? ,(LOCATION :TYPE
    'ABOVE-BELOW NIL SURFACE))))))




    (PRINT (TRANSLATE-INTO-ENGLISH THIS-PARAGRAPH))

    --> "I hope you feel better. As someone who used Lisp from 1982 to
    1991, I feel your pain, but you have only seen the tip of the iceberg.
    You can get used to the parens after a few weeks of using them a lot.
    Larger atrocities are beneath the surface"


    > If someone can answer my questions, I will spend less time with the
    > emacs psychiatrist!


    Just walk away and never look back, if you value whatever sanity you
    have left in you, mate!

    HTH
    nobody, Feb 29, 2004
    #1
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  2. nobody

    MSCHAEF.COM Guest

    In article <>,
    nobody <> wrote:
    > (Mike Cox) wrote in message
    >news:<>...
    >> I'm a C++ programmer, and have to use lisp because I want to use
    >> emacs. I've gotten a book on lisp, and I must say lisp is the ugliest
    >> looking language syntax wise. What is up with this: (defun(foo()).

    >
    >(DEFUN FOO () NIL)


    The syntax of Lisp is that way primarily because of its regularity. Every
    program is represented as a generalized list, with only a few concessions
    to the more diverse syntax folks have come to expect from languages like
    C, etc. As a result, Lisp is more dependant than many languages on tools
    like auto-indenting editors that support paren-matching. Of course, since
    I'd hate to read a un-indended C program, I think the indention argument
    against Lisp is specious at best.

    The brightest side of all this is that since Lisp programs are built using
    a construct that's so fundamental to the language, it's much easier to
    write higher level code transformations than in C. In C, the preprocessor
    can at best work with sequences of characters in the source text. In Lisp,
    the macro facility can manipulate code at the level of syntax trees.
    Python is an example of a language that provides AST manipulation in an
    infix language, and while I haven't used it myself, the code I've read
    makes it obvious that it's far less convenient than Lisp-style macros.

    >> What were the lisp authors thinking? Why did Stallman use lisp in
    >> emacs so extensively?

    >
    >C and C++ did not exist at the time. Do you think he should have used
    >Fortran for this? *shudder*


    The first version of Emacs was written in Teco macros. (If you really
    want to *shudder*, do some research on that... :) The modern GNU
    Emacs and X Emacs are written with a layer of C that implements the Lisp
    system and some editing primitives. Most of the higher level functionality
    is written in Lisp.

    >You can use better editors than Emacs. I'll give you a hint: no
    >12-finger key combinations with right clicking
    >and waving of a rubber wildebeest are happening in my office.


    I can't say that such things happen in my office, even when I use Emacs.

    >Just walk away and never look back, if you value whatever sanity you
    >have left in you, mate!


    Lisp gets a bad rap for a lot of reasons. IMO, if you enjoy programming,
    and you haven't worked through writing some significant Lisp code, then
    you've missed out on something useful. Even if you spend most of your time
    in environments that have done better in the commercial space.

    Consider this: 10 years ago (and for some of these features 30-40), Lisp
    had syntax tree manipulation, multi-method dispatch, a metaobject
    protocol, multiple inheritance, garbage collection, anonymous functions, a
    highly interactive development environment, and first-class closures.
    _All_ of these features are slowly finding there way into more mainstream
    languages, with more chances of commercial success. If there truly was no
    value in these concepts, and no value in knowing Lisp, this would not be
    happening.

    -Mike
    --
    http://www.mschaef.com
    MSCHAEF.COM, Feb 29, 2004
    #2
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  3. (MSCHAEF.COM) writes:

    > In article <>,
    > nobody <> wrote:
    > > (Mike Cox) wrote in message
    > >news:<>...
    > >> I'm a C++ programmer, and have to use lisp because I want to use
    > >> emacs. I've gotten a book on lisp, and I must say lisp is the ugliest
    > >> looking language syntax wise. What is up with this: (defun(foo()).

    > >
    > >(DEFUN FOO () NIL)

    >
    > The syntax of Lisp is that way primarily because of its regularity. Every
    > program is represented as a generalized list, with only a few concessions
    > to the more diverse syntax folks have come to expect from languages like
    > C, etc.


    From today's MOTD:
    We don't need no indirection
    We don't need no flow control
    No data typing or declarations
    Did you leave the lists alone?

    Hey! Hacker! Leave those lists alone!

    Chorus:
    All in all, it's just a pure-LISP function call.
    All in all, it's just a pure-LISP function call.


    --
    Philip Stripling | email to the replyto address is presumed
    Legal Assistance on the Web | spam and read later. email to philip@
    http://www.PhilipStripling.com/ | my domain is read daily.
    Phil Stripling, Feb 29, 2004
    #3
  4. nobody

    MSCHAEF.COM Guest

    In article <>,
    Phil Stripling <> wrote:
    ...
    >From today's MOTD:
    >We don't need no indirection
    >We don't need no flow control
    >No data typing or declarations
    >Did you leave the lists alone?


    Cute. Wrong, but cute. :)

    -Mike
    --
    http://www.mschaef.com
    MSCHAEF.COM, Feb 29, 2004
    #4
  5. nobody

    Leor Zolman Guest

    On 28 Feb 2004 21:12:28 -0800, (nobody) wrote:

    >Howdy, Mike!
    >
    > (Mike Cox) wrote in message news:<>...
    >> I'm a C++ programmer, and have to use lisp because I want to use
    >> emacs. I've gotten a book on lisp, and I must say lisp is the ugliest
    >> looking language syntax wise. What is up with this: (defun(foo()).

    >
    >(DEFUN FOO () NIL)



    I dunno, something like APL makes LISP syntax look beautiful...
    -leor


    Leor Zolman
    BD Software

    www.bdsoft.com -- On-Site Training in C/C++, Java, Perl & Unix
    C++ users: Download BD Software's free STL Error Message
    Decryptor at www.bdsoft.com/tools/stlfilt.html
    Leor Zolman, Feb 29, 2004
    #5
  6. nobody

    nobody Guest

    I like!

    How about this?


    We don't need no obfuscation
    We don't need no FORM-CONTROL
    No CADR CADAR in the classroom
    Hackers, leave them lists alone
    Hey! Hackers! Leave them LISPs alone!

    Chorus:
    All in all, it's just another missing FUNCALL
    All in all, purge LISP once and for all!



    =============================================
    In the following, Lisp == Common Lisp (ANSI):
    ---------------------------------------------

    1. The fastest Lisp implementations are slow
    (See any third-party benchmark)

    2. Nobody but a small clique of fanatics likes it
    (Whose existence proves nothing: No matter how odd
    or perverted the cause, there will be followers)

    3. The vast majority of people who study Lisp in
    school, never want to use it out of their free will
    later on.

    3. Lisp is the most complicated language in the world
    (It has the biggest standard specification document)

    4. However, threads and GUI are not defined by the standard

    5. There is no open-source cross-platform native code compiler

    6. There is no standard C interface.




    Phil Stripling <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > (MSCHAEF.COM) writes:
    >
    > > In article <>,
    > > nobody <> wrote:
    > > > (Mike Cox) wrote in message
    > > >news:<>...
    > > >> I'm a C++ programmer, and have to use lisp because I want to use
    > > >> emacs. I've gotten a book on lisp, and I must say lisp is the ugliest
    > > >> looking language syntax wise. What is up with this: (defun(foo()).
    > > >
    > > >(DEFUN FOO () NIL)

    > >
    > > The syntax of Lisp is that way primarily because of its regularity. Every
    > > program is represented as a generalized list, with only a few concessions
    > > to the more diverse syntax folks have come to expect from languages like
    > > C, etc.

    >
    > From today's MOTD:
    > We don't need no indirection
    > We don't need no flow control
    > No data typing or declarations
    > Did you leave the lists alone?
    >
    > Hey! Hacker! Leave those lists alone!
    >
    > Chorus:
    > All in all, it's just a pure-LISP function call.
    > All in all, it's just a pure-LISP function call.
    nobody, Mar 1, 2004
    #6
  7. >>>>> "nobody" == nobody <> writes:


    nobody> =============================================
    nobody> In the following, Lisp == Common Lisp (ANSI):
    nobody> ---------------------------------------------

    nobody> 1. The fastest Lisp implementations are slow
    nobody> (See any third-party benchmark)

    Says who? Says nobody!

    What is the definition of "slow"? What particular third-party
    benchmark are we talking about?

    One analysis suggests that with the best of Lisp implementations you
    should not accept a speed penality much above 10% relative to C.

    The analysis in question was the Pfannkuch benchmark that was
    thoroughly analysed in the ACM lisp journal some years back. I haven't
    a reference at hand but will hunt one down if properly bullied.

    Do not forget: benchmarking is roughly as reliable as statistics, you
    can generally "prove" anything you like.

    nobody> 2. Nobody but a small clique of fanatics likes it
    nobody> (Whose existence proves nothing: No matter how odd
    nobody> or perverted the cause, there will be followers)

    And in what sense is that a problem for Lisp? It is merely the joy of
    having infrared-capable 20/20 1000 mile vision on a planet of the
    blind and deaf.

    Can you say "business opportunity"?

    nobody> 3. The vast majority of people who study Lisp in
    nobody> school, never want to use it out of their free will
    nobody> later on.

    I have yet to encounter somebody who has aquired any useful
    understanding of what Lisp is, that is not lamenting the difficulties
    in finding a Lisp related job.

    nobody> 3. Lisp is the most complicated language in the world
    nobody> (It has the biggest standard specification document)

    In what way did you arrive to "complicated language" from "big
    standard document"?

    C has more keywords than Lisp; the large part of the ANSI Lisp spec is
    made up of library functions. My linux box has almost 4000 entries in
    man3, how much do you think that would amount to if printed out on
    paper?

    This is not to dispute that Lisp is a big language but you probably
    need to be a C programmer to consider that a problem. We Lisp
    programmers prefer to have a large language in order to be able to
    write small programs.

    nobody> 4. However, threads and GUI are not defined by the standard

    True, I am however curious about what examples of languages specifications,
    including GUI and Threads, you are thinking about and what size these
    specifications would be.

    nobody> 5. There is no open-source cross-platform native code compiler

    For what interesting definitions of "open-source", "cross-platform"
    and "native code" do you use to make the above a valid statement?

    It is true that the open-source implementations doesn't support
    Windows well but they do cover the rest of the pack.

    nobody> 6. There is no standard C interface.

    As part of the standard no, as a separate open-source library yes.


    ------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------
    Christian Lynbech | christian #\@ defun #\. dk
    ------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------
    Hit the philistines three times over the head with the Elisp reference manual.
    - (Michael A. Petonic)
    Christian Lynbech, Mar 1, 2004
    #7
  8. I apologize for not specifying a followup.

    Follow-up set to comp.lang.lisp.

    ------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------
    Christian Lynbech | christian #\@ defun #\. dk
    ------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------
    Hit the philistines three times over the head with the Elisp reference manual.
    - (Michael A. Petonic)
    Christian Lynbech, Mar 1, 2004
    #8
  9. nobody

    Joe Marshall Guest

    (nobody) writes:

    > =============================================
    > In the following, Lisp == Common Lisp (ANSI):
    > ---------------------------------------------
    >
    > 1. The fastest Lisp implementations are slow
    > (See any third-party benchmark)


    Must be because it is interpreted. That and the fact that everything
    is a list.

    > 2. Nobody but a small clique of fanatics likes it
    > (Whose existence proves nothing: No matter how odd
    > or perverted the cause, there will be followers)


    I don't understand why anyone would design a language without
    putting emphasis on acceptance by the masses. Visual Basic is what we
    all should be programming in! There are literally *millions* of
    professional programmers who use it. That and Perl.

    > 3. The vast majority of people who study Lisp in
    > school, never want to use it out of their free will
    > later on.


    Exactly! Same as algebra or biology.

    > 3. Lisp is the most complicated language in the world
    > (It has the biggest standard specification document)


    Commmon Lisp about 1400 pages
    C++ (1998) 776 pages
    Perl about 600 pages
    Java Language Specification, second edition, 544 pages

    Intercal - about 40 pages
    Joe Marshall, Mar 1, 2004
    #9
  10. [Followups restricted to comp.programming. Remember, kids, crossposting
    leads to new aggressive malign retroviruses and excess nose hair.]

    In article <>, (nobody) writes:
    >
    > (Mike Cox) wrote in message news:<>...
    > > I'm a C++ programmer, and have to use lisp because I want to use
    > > emacs.


    Odd. I've used emacs without having to use LISP. It's not as much
    fun as using LISP without emacs, but it works.

    > > I've gotten a book on lisp, and I must say lisp is the ugliest
    > > looking language syntax wise.


    This is, of course, entirely subjective, but I can't imagine on what
    aesthetic basis LISP would be the ugliest programming language in
    existence.

    > > What were the lisp authors thinking?


    I can't say for sure what McCarthy was thinking when he created LISP,
    but I'd guess it was something along the lines of "I think I'll create
    a computer language which emphasizes function application rather than
    procedural steps, which provides an easy-to-use list structure as a
    generic data collection, and which sort of models Alonzo Church's
    lambda calculus".

    > If someone, although not RMS, admittedly, was writing a new extensible
    > editor today, a combination of C++ and Python would have probably be
    > chosen.


    That's one possibility, but I'm not sure I'd label it "probable".
    There are other choices. vile, for example, is written in C.
    Eclipse is written in Java. MS Visual Studio .NET is, what, C#?
    Probably no Python in it, anyway.

    > > Why oh why does such a weird and strange
    > > looking language end up in a major software package so now I have to
    > > learn it?


    What's "weird and strange[-]looking" about LISP? Maybe your
    experience is just limited.

    C++ looks pretty weird to programmers who only know COBOL. SML looks
    weird to kids who've grown up on a diet of Java. APL looks weird to
    pretty much everyone who doesn't write APL programs. The various
    evil languages (Intercal, Brainfuck, and the lot) generally look weird
    to anyone who isn't perversely devoted to such things. LISP isn't
    even in the running with that crowd.

    --
    Michael Wojcik

    Proverbs for Paranoids, 1: You may never get to touch the Master,
    but you can tickle his creatures. -- Thomas Pynchon
    Michael Wojcik, Mar 1, 2004
    #10
  11. Christian Lynbech wrote:

    >>>>>>"nobody" == nobody <> writes:

    >
    >
    >
    > nobody> =============================================
    > nobody> In the following, Lisp == Common Lisp (ANSI):
    > nobody> ---------------------------------------------
    >
    > nobody> 1. The fastest Lisp implementations are slow
    > nobody> (See any third-party benchmark)
    >
    > Says who? Says nobody!
    >
    > What is the definition of "slow"? What particular third-party
    > benchmark are we talking about?
    >
    > One analysis suggests that with the best of Lisp implementations you
    > should not accept a speed penality much above 10% relative to C.


    ....which proves that it is slow, no?

    > The analysis in question was the Pfannkuch benchmark that was
    > thoroughly analysed in the ACM lisp journal some years back. I haven't
    > a reference at hand but will hunt one down if properly bullied.


    Since it helps to prove that Lisp is slow it's hardly vital information.
    Feel free to pull it out if you want though.

    > Do not forget: benchmarking is roughly as reliable as statistics, you
    > can generally "prove" anything you like.


    If you'd like we can all get together and write code in our language of
    choice to perform a variety of common algos, find some sucker to run all
    the samples sequentially on one computer, and see which languages excell
    at which tasks. If Lisp comes out faster than the 'main-stream'
    languages in any of those tests, we'll reconsider your objection.

    > nobody> 2. Nobody but a small clique of fanatics likes it
    > nobody> (Whose existence proves nothing: No matter how odd
    > nobody> or perverted the cause, there will be followers)
    >
    > And in what sense is that a problem for Lisp? It is merely the joy of
    > having infrared-capable 20/20 1000 mile vision on a planet of the
    > blind and deaf.


    Translation: I can see that Lisp is great, and all the rest of you are
    morons. Sounds like a fanatic to me.

    > Can you say "business opportunity"?


    When was the last time you found a niche market screaming out for a Lisp
    solution? A solution that could /only/ be implemented in Lisp?

    > nobody> 3. The vast majority of people who study Lisp in
    > nobody> school, never want to use it out of their free will
    > nobody> later on.
    >
    > I have yet to encounter somebody who has aquired any useful
    > understanding of what Lisp is, that is not lamenting the difficulties
    > in finding a Lisp related job.


    This could be because there aren't many Lisp-related jobs. Wonder why
    that is?

    > nobody> 3. Lisp is the most complicated language in the world
    > nobody> (It has the biggest standard specification document)
    >
    > In what way did you arrive to "complicated language" from "big
    > standard document"?


    Actually I kind of agree with you here. A much better test would be to
    measure the time taken to learn to /use/ the language. Hard to get
    those kinds of stats in a usable fasion however.

    > C has more keywords than Lisp; the large part of the ANSI Lisp spec is
    > made up of library functions. My linux box has almost 4000 entries in
    > man3, how much do you think that would amount to if printed out on
    > paper?


    Brainf*ck has fewer keywords... are you saying that it's a simple
    language? Wow. There's a bold statement for you.

    Also failing to see how 4000 man pages on a Linux box relates to
    language complexity *shrug*

    > This is not to dispute that Lisp is a big language but you probably
    > need to be a C programmer to consider that a problem. We Lisp
    > programmers prefer to have a large language in order to be able to
    > write small programs.


    ....that don't run very fast :>

    > nobody> 4. However, threads and GUI are not defined by the standard
    >
    > True, I am however curious about what examples of languages specifications,
    > including GUI and Threads, you are thinking about and what size these
    > specifications would be.


    Agreed, most languages don't touch on GUI in their standards docs. A
    couple do touch on threads though.

    > nobody> 5. There is no open-source cross-platform native code compiler
    >
    > For what interesting definitions of "open-source", "cross-platform"
    > and "native code" do you use to make the above a valid statement?


    Find me an open-source Lisp compiler that produces native executables
    that works on Windows, Linux and Mac... maybe Solaris too, just for fun.

    > It is true that the open-source implementations doesn't support
    > Windows well but they do cover the rest of the pack.




    > nobody> 6. There is no standard C interface.
    >
    > As part of the standard no, as a separate open-source library yes.


    This is a null point either way. The two languages should be kept
    separate :>

    > ------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------
    > Christian Lynbech | christian #\@ defun #\. dk
    > ------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------
    > Hit the philistines three times over the head with the Elisp reference manual.
    > - (Michael A. Petonic)


    I refer you to point #3 :>

    --
    Corey Murtagh
    The Electric Monk
    "Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur!"
    Corey Murtagh, Mar 1, 2004
    #11
  12. nobody

    Tom Plunket Guest

    Corey Murtagh wrote:

    > > One analysis suggests that with the best of Lisp implementations you
    > > should not accept a speed penality much above 10% relative to C.

    >
    > ...which proves that it is slow, no?


    If "slower than C" is equivalent to "slow," then, yeah, most
    languages are "slow".

    > If you'd like we can all get together and write code in our language of
    > choice to perform a variety of common algos, find some sucker to run all
    > the samples sequentially on one computer, and see which languages excell
    > at which tasks. If Lisp comes out faster than the 'main-stream'
    > languages in any of those tests, we'll reconsider your objection.


    It's already been done. Doug Bagley has a project that tests a
    bunch of languages beside one another in a variety of benchmarks.
    (Some of his C++ samples could use some work, but I couldn't get
    the benchmark to run on any of my machines because I'm dumb.) In
    any event, Common Lisp performs admirably, coming in as "better"
    than Python, Perl, and Java in the default benchmarks.

    http://www.bagley.org/~doug/shootout/craps.shtml

    Feel free to play with the numbers, though, to get the results
    you're looking for. :)

    -tom!
    Tom Plunket, Mar 1, 2004
    #12
  13. nobody

    Tim Haynes Guest

    Corey Murtagh <> writes:

    >> Do not forget: benchmarking is roughly as reliable as statistics, you
    >> can generally "prove" anything you like.

    >
    > If you'd like we can all get together and write code in our language of
    > choice to perform a variety of common algos, find some sucker to run all
    > the samples sequentially on one computer, and see which languages excell
    > at which tasks. If Lisp comes out faster than the 'main-stream' languages
    > in any of those tests, we'll reconsider your objection.


    <http://www.bagley.org/~doug/shootout/craps.shtml> is one possible site of
    interest.

    HTH.

    ~Tim
    --
    These are the days when you wish |
    your bed was already made. |http://spodzone.org.uk/
    Tim Haynes, Mar 1, 2004
    #13
  14. Joe Marshall wrote:
    > (nobody) writes:
    >> 3. Lisp is the most complicated language in the world
    >> (It has the biggest standard specification document)

    >
    > Commmon Lisp about 1400 pages
    > C++ (1998) 776 pages
    > Perl about 600 pages
    > Java Language Specification, second edition, 544 pages


    SQL (2003; draft?): more than 3000 pages.

    Jeremy.
    Jeremy Yallop, Mar 1, 2004
    #14
  15. Tom Plunket wrote:

    > Corey Murtagh wrote:
    >
    >>>One analysis suggests that with the best of Lisp implementations you
    >>>should not accept a speed penality much above 10% relative to C.

    >>
    >>...which proves that it is slow, no?

    >
    > If "slower than C" is equivalent to "slow," then, yeah, most
    > languages are "slow".


    Well, I guess it kind of depends on your definitions. Comparison
    against machine code is probably more useful, since that should give us
    a baseline value to work against. Since C is closest to that, it's the
    best baseline we have until something better comes along.

    >>If you'd like we can all get together and write code in our language of
    >>choice to perform a variety of common algos, find some sucker to run all
    >>the samples sequentially on one computer, and see which languages excell
    >>at which tasks. If Lisp comes out faster than the 'main-stream'
    >>languages in any of those tests, we'll reconsider your objection.

    >
    > It's already been done. Doug Bagley has a project that tests a
    > bunch of languages beside one another in a variety of benchmarks.
    > (Some of his C++ samples could use some work, but I couldn't get
    > the benchmark to run on any of my machines because I'm dumb.) In
    > any event, Common Lisp performs admirably, coming in as "better"
    > than Python, Perl, and Java in the default benchmarks.
    >
    > http://www.bagley.org/~doug/shootout/craps.shtml
    >
    > Feel free to play with the numbers, though, to get the results
    > you're looking for. :)


    It's close, but it enforces certain rules which I think are unrealistic.
    For instance, some languages are much better with recursive algos than
    the iterative equivalent.

    I was more thinking that we produce the most optimal solution in our
    chosen language rather than trying to find a common method and forcing
    the language to work with that. After a few iterations of "oh, that's a
    nice trick that'd work just as well in <language-of-choice>" the results
    should stabilize somewhat... assuming roughly equivalent skill levels in
    our chosen languages ;)

    Oh, and let's get rid of the startup times to give Java a chance to
    catch up, otherwise all the Java fans out there will bleat :>

    --
    Corey Murtagh
    The Electric Monk
    "Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur!"
    Corey Murtagh, Mar 1, 2004
    #15
  16. nobody

    Joe Marshall Guest

    Corey Murtagh <> writes:

    > Tom Plunket wrote:
    >
    >> Corey Murtagh wrote:
    >>
    >>>>One analysis suggests that with the best of Lisp implementations you
    >>>> should not accept a speed penality much above 10% relative to C.
    >>>
    >>>...which proves that it is slow, no?

    >> If "slower than C" is equivalent to "slow," then, yeah, most
    >> languages are "slow".

    >


    Fortran isn't.
    Joe Marshall, Mar 1, 2004
    #16
  17. nobody

    Matthias Guest

    Corey Murtagh <> writes:

    > > Do not forget: benchmarking is roughly as reliable as statistics, you
    > > can generally "prove" anything you like.

    >
    > If you'd like we can all get together and write code in our language
    > of choice to perform a variety of common algos, find some sucker to
    > run all the samples sequentially on one computer, and see which
    > languages excell at which tasks. If Lisp comes out faster than the
    > 'main-stream' languages in any of those tests, we'll reconsider your
    > objection.


    I had this stupid benchmark lying around anyway:

    http://www.cvgpr.uni-mannheim.de/heiler/microbench/

    It clearly shows that Lisp outperforms C++ in times of execution speed
    in one test. Happy?

    Matthias
    Matthias, Mar 1, 2004
    #17
  18. Joe Marshall wrote:

    > Corey Murtagh <> writes:
    >
    >>Tom Plunket wrote:
    >>
    >>>Corey Murtagh wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>>One analysis suggests that with the best of Lisp implementations you
    >>>>>should not accept a speed penality much above 10% relative to C.
    >>>>
    >>>>...which proves that it is slow, no?
    >>>
    >>>If "slower than C" is equivalent to "slow," then, yeah, most
    >>>languages are "slow".

    >
    > Fortran isn't.


    I've always wondered about that. I've been hearing for years how
    Fortran is faster than - or as fast as - C, and it seems strange. As
    fast as, I'm not concerned about. Faster than... I'd be interested in
    how and why, from a purely academic perspective.

    --
    Corey Murtagh
    The Electric Monk
    "Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur!"
    Corey Murtagh, Mar 1, 2004
    #18
  19. >>>>> On Mon, 01 Mar 2004 14:46:04 -0500, Joe Marshall ("Joe") writes:

    Joe> Corey Murtagh <> writes:
    >> Tom Plunket wrote:
    >>
    >>> Corey Murtagh wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>> One analysis suggests that with the best of Lisp implementations you
    >>>>> should not accept a speed penality much above 10% relative to C.
    >>>>
    >>>> ...which proves that it is slow, no?
    >>> If "slower than C" is equivalent to "slow," then, yeah, most
    >>> languages are "slow".

    >>


    Joe> Fortran isn't.

    Clearly, the Best Language is machine code.
    Christopher C. Stacy, Mar 1, 2004
    #19
  20. >>>>> "Corey" == Corey Murtagh <> writes:

    > One analysis suggests that with the best of Lisp implementations you
    > should not accept a speed penality much above 10% relative to C.


    Corey> ...which proves that it is slow, no?

    No it doesn't, it only proves that it is a little slower than C which
    is fast enough. And when it isn't you put the critical part of the
    code into C or assembly or microcode, just as a C programmer would.

    > Can you say "business opportunity"?


    Corey> When was the last time you found a niche market screaming out for a
    Corey> Lisp solution? A solution that could /only/ be implemented in Lisp?

    Ah, but there obviously is no such thing as "could /only/ be implemented in".
    Turing has assured us that there is a formal equivalence between the
    expressiveness power of all programming languages, so from a
    theoretical standpoint there is no difference.

    However, experience tells us that in practice there is a huge
    difference in the *productivity* of deriving a correct solution to a
    problem. There is a reason why very few people today write whole
    applications in assembly or Turing Machines.

    Lisp just happens to be the most productive language around.

    > C has more keywords than Lisp; the large part of the ANSI Lisp spec
    > is made up of library functions. My linux box has almost 4000
    > entries in man3, how much do you think that would amount to if
    > printed out on paper?


    Corey> Brainf*ck has fewer keywords... are you saying that it's a simple
    Corey> language? Wow. There's a bold statement for you.

    Not that I know Brainf*ck or that it matters, but I was merely
    challenging the thinking that the size of the language translates to
    the complexity of it. If there was such a causality, you could claim
    Lisp to be simpler than C which probably wasn't what nobody was trying
    to say.

    Corey> Also failing to see how 4000 man pages on a Linux box relates to
    Corey> language complexity *shrug*

    Agreed, it should however attest to the size of UNIX (ie. C+libs).


    (And I never said that I wasn't a fanatic, but at least I am a fanatic
    with a superior language)

    ------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------
    Christian Lynbech | christian #\@ defun #\. dk
    ------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------
    Hit the philistines three times over the head with the Elisp reference manual.
    - (Michael A. Petonic)
    Christian Lynbech, Mar 1, 2004
    #20
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