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Re: What is a lightweight language

Mike raised this question at LL1. The answer is OS 
connectivity and libraries, esp. string libraries.  People 
need those to write actual programs. Common Lisp and Scheme 
don't have them.  (Maybe some implementation thereof does, 
but the standards don't).

For a big project like Viaweb, esp. when you have 
competitors snapping at your heels, it can be a win
to use these more powerful languages.  But for smaller
problems (and all problems start small) the best libraries 

Result: good programmers *aren't* all programming in Scheme.
Some of them are.  But a lot of the smartest people I know
actually use Perl when they need to write something,
because Common Lisp is basically a quadruple amputee when
it comes to application programming.

Lisp has a lot of latent power though.  The hypothesis of
Arc is that all you have to do is add OS connectivity 
and the usual libraries to Lisp and you have a butt-kicking
language.  (You may in fact get what Perl and Python become
as t approaches infinity, modulo syntax.)  

Another thing Lisp has lacked is marketing.  We have a few
shameless tricks planned in the intellectual virus dept.
Check back with me in a year.


--- Simon Cozens <simon@simon-cozens.org> wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 11, 2001 at 08:05:59PM -0800, Paul Graham wrote:
> > (My guess is that if you do end up designing a language
> > that all the best hackers like, everyone else will get
> > dragged along, psychological hurdles or no.
> Have you ever wondered why you're all hacking Scheme and
> few other people are? :)
> Simon
> -- 
> She said that she was working for the ABC News,
> It was as much of the alphabet as she knew how to use
>     -- Elvis Costello

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