lisp

A nice story about Lisp

twobithistory.org has a nice story about Lisp titled, How Lisp became God’s own programming language. That page links to Paul Graham’s old Beating the averages post where he shares this Eric Raymond quote: “Lisp is worth learning for the profound enlightenment experience you will have when you finally get it; that experience will make you a better programmer for the rest of your days, even if you never actually use Lisp itself a lot.”

I’m surprised when functional programmers say bad things about Scala

I’m surprised when many functional programmers feel the need to say something bad about Scala. As a community, that makes them seem like a bunch of people who aren’t very nice. There are things I don’t like about Haskell, F#, Lisp, Scala, Kotlin, Go, Perl, PHP, Python, C, C++, etc., but I don’t feel the need to take pot shots at any languages or individuals.

“Many functions in Lisp are list-eaters” alvin January 29, 2018 - 7:36am

“Many functions in Lisp are list-eaters.”

From the book, Land of Lisp

(The same can be said about pure functions in Scala.)

Alan Kay on Lisp being a great programming language alvin October 29, 2017 - 7:20pm

Apparently at some point Alan Kay said, “Lisp is the greatest single programming language ever designed,” and in this Quora post he writes about what he meant.

This is a page from my book, Functional Programming, Simplified

What is This “Lambda” You Speak Of?

“It takes a wise man to learn from his mistakes, but an even wiser man to learn from others.”

~ Zen Proverb

Goals

Once you get into FP, you’ll quickly start hearing the terms “lambda” and “lambda calculus.” The goal of this chapter is to provide background information on where those names come from, and what they mean.

Lisp: What is an S-expression?

I spent some time last night reading the book, Practical Common Lisp. In all Lisp books you’ll read about S-expressions, but very few authors explain what they are. This image comes from this Wikipedia page, which states, “In computing, s-expressions (for “symbolic expression”) are a notation for nested list (tree-structured) data, invented for and popularized by the programming language Lisp, which uses them for source code as well as data. In the usual parenthesized syntax of Lisp, an s-expression is classically defined as a) an atom, or b) an expression of the form (x . y) where x and y are s-expressions.” See that link for more information about Lisp and S-expressions.

The history of Lisp

I’ve been interested in the Lisp programming language since I first learned about it, but in the books I’ve read about it, no author has explained the background of terms like cons, car, cdr, and S-expressions. Tonight I found this “History of Lisp” document, which explains the meaning of some of those names.

(If you’re really interested in those terms, this Wikipedia page describes them even more.)

The importance of flow to programming

Psychologists have identified a state of mind called flow in which we’re capable of incredible concentration and productivity.