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Re: "Python for Lisp Programmers"

On Sun, 9 Dec 2001, Michael Vanier wrote:
> Even though I love python and use it all the time, I'll second Shriram
> here.  I spent some of the last term teaching scheme to undergrads, and
> none of them had a problem with the parenthesized syntax after about the
> first two weeks.  I think the problem is that most people have a knee-jerk
> negative gut reaction to seeing all those parentheses, and they never make
> it past that stage.

Historical question: Ergonomically, Parentheses are annoying because they
require constant use of the SHIFT key.  Square brackets would have been a
better choice.  Who chose parentheses and why?

Note: the argument that, if square brackets were better, people would use
them loses to the argument that network externalities make everyone do the
same thing even if it is suboptimal (worse-is-better, microsoft, etc).
The holds for infix Lisp and infix scheme.


S. Alexander Jacobson                   i2x Media
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