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Re: Macros and little languages

 Matthias Felleisen <matthias@ccs.neu.edu>:
> At Mon, 27 May 2002 09:26:39 -0700, Paul Prescod wrote:
> > Re: infix versus prefix. I have more faith that you could convince the
> > world to use esperanto than prefix notation. But by all means, have
> > another go at it. Maybe it just needs one more try!
> Well, perhaps we really just want to tease you. After all, if you don't
> use prefix and parenthesized languages, we have an advantage. -- Matthias

I'm not sure of the tone of this conversation, but this quip just made me 
realize something.

If we exist in a big pool of people who are all competing with one another, 
then what you've said (Matthias) is true.  If we exist in a big pool of people 
who are all cooperating with one another, then the opposite is true -- by 
using a syntax amenable to one hundred times as many people, I gain one 
hundred times as many tool authors, clients, collaborators, etc.

Of course in reality we exist in a more complex situation were both kinds of 
interaction are important.

But this has made me realize that there is an opposite side to Paul Graham's 
"How I Used Lisp To Outdo My Non-Lisp Competitors" story -- it also implies that 
he wasn't taking advantage of other people's code as much as his erstwhile 
competitors could have.

FWIW the current Python culture (as well as, I'm sure, the current Lisp 
culture) is very much on the side of cooperation viz competition with regard 
to source code and object code.  The python-list is famously friendly, and 
Python has mature traditions of interoperating with code from the C/C++ and 
Java worlds.

(BTW, I'm a bit of an economic cynic and I expect this culture to prove 
non-scalable.  ;-))



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