Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A little bit of time

I have a small amount of time this morning before the conference to write a paragraph or two.

The panel discussion on the future of Lisp was interesting. Not so much for what was said, but from the tangents that couldn't be pursued because of time constraints. I enjoyed hearing Pascal Costanza give his ‘radical’ opinions: Java sucks. Stop moaning about how you can't use Lisp and just use it. (I'm paraphrasing, but only slightly.)

Gerry Sussman raised a great point that sailed a bit over my head. He thinks that the one thing that Lisp will be remembered for is how it can be used as a formal description language for processes. He spoke to me later and said he was surprised no one followed up on that. I asked ‘What is there to say? I agree completely, so I can't really argue or add to that.’ He asked ‘What is it about other languages that make them more popular? Can they express certain ideas better? Can we learn from them?’ I think that is a point worth exploring.

It also seems that Rick Greenblatt isn't mad at me anymore. We had a bit of friction that I'll detail later on in my story about LMI. Rick is an interesting guy, but like many brilliant people, he can be difficult at times.

I'm making a few notes and I'm hoping to expand on them later.

5 comments:

grant rettke said...

Re: What is it about other languages that make them more popular? Can they express certain ideas better? Can we learn from them?’ I think that is a point worth exploring.

Popular things tend to make you feel good about who you are right now.

Great things tend make you feel good about who you could be and require much, much more investment than popular things.

Andrew said...

Really loving your series of posts here. Just wanted to say thanks, and I look forward to reading more!

grant rettke said...

Re: He asked ‘What is it about other languages that make them more popular?

Because of the libraries.

That is why people switch to Python or Ruby: tons of great libraries.

Raoul Duke said...

@"formal description language for processes"

pretty please, a reference / explanation for this Lisp newbie :-)

jrm said...

In re: formal description language for processes. I'll expand on this in an upcoming post in a couple of days.