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Re: s-exprs + prototypes

On Thursday, Jun 26, 2003, at 03:34 US/Pacific, Michael Vanier wrote:
> BTW I'm referring to a talk by Alan Kay that is viewable here:
> http://murl.microsoft.com/LectureDetails.asp?1019
> [Warning: only viewable on Windows]

Only viewable if you have a connection that's faster
than 56k.  Or a heck of a lot of patience.

> It's a very nice talk.  Alan mentions how influenced he was by lisp, 
> and
> makes the somewhat cryptic statement that one of the biggest 
> epiphanies of
> his life was when he understood what was written on the bottom of page 
> 13
> of the Lisp 1.5 manual.  That manual is available here:
> http://green.iis.nsk.su/~vp/doc/lisp1.5/mccarthy.html
> Unfortunately, the page numbers aren't there, but I assume he's 
> referring
> to section 1.6: "A Universal Lisp Function".  Anybody have a printed
> copy?

Yes, section 1.6 describes "evalquote", which is the "universal"
LISP function of the section's title.  Page 13 defines evalquote:

    evalquote[fn;x] = apply[fn;x;NIL]

and the lower half of the page defines apply and eval.

I didn't really "get" LISP until I read that little book
(106 pages, three dollars!), probably in the early 1980's.
I suspect that this may have been because of the only other
LISP book I had read at the time.  I vaguely recall it as
being a book that had a few FORTRAN-ish programs, written
in LISP.  I don't remember other details of that book.

  -- Doug L.