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Re: What is a lightweight language

I mean CLTL Common Lisp.  Of course you can write apps in
it if you use implementation-specific hacks.  The point is
they're not part of the language.  That's why I said amputee.
The brain is there and very good, but you can't talk to
the outside world.

--- jmarshall@mak.com wrote:
> Paul Graham <paulgraham@yahoo.com> writes:
> > Common Lisp is basically a quadruple amputee when it comes to
> > application programming.
> I think this is a myth.  
> [Anecdotal evidence follows] At Content Integrity our product had
> several components that needed to be built.  Among them were a Java
> client, a Lisp server, and some shell scripts.  The java client was
> probably the hairiest because there wasn't one but rather several
> variations that needed to be built, each using various combinations
> of
> class files, etc.  We supported both Unix and Windows platform, Sun
> and MS JVMs (which used non-portable extensions), standalone and
> signed browser applet versions (for both IE and Netscape).
> Originally a script was written to build these varying versions, but
> it quickly became to complicated to maintain.  Each developer was
> responsible for his own machine, so the paths to the various tools
> was
> different on each machine.  Some of us had several versions of the
> toolkits.
> Since building the product included compiling the lisp files, it made
> sense to have lisp launch the scripts to build the other components.
> This worked early on.  When the scripts became unwieldy, we moved
> their functionality into the Lisp.
> Now I freely admit that the Lisp as it came out of the box was not up
> to the task, but it really wasn't that difficult a task to add the
> necessary functionality.  Once that was in place, we could perform
> very complex build steps quite easily.
> [End of anecdote]
> I've come to the conclusion that Lisp isn't so much a quadruple
> amputee as it is an untrained temp worker.  It sure doesn't know
> squat
> to start with, but with a little effort you can extend it to be as
> powerful as you need.

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