Re: [dev] lisp

From: Szabolcs Nagy <>
Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2013 22:52:40 +0200

* Louis-Guillaume Gagnon <> [2013-06-29 13:35:58 -0400]:
> It's worth noting that the R5RS scheme standard is only ~50 pages
> long:
> In comparison, the C99 standard is ~550 pages. I would say that the
> scheme dialect is pretty simple.

r5rs is much more limited in scope than c99, it has a synthetic
design that provides the bare minimum to express high level
computations, while c99 has an ugly pragmatic design, the result
of long evolution and contradicting constraints

the scheme spec does not give you enough semantics to reason
about resource usage, latency of operations or to handle
related failures, it cannot control the interaction with the
underlying system without serious language extensions

this is not a big problem for scheme as it is not a
systems programming language, but a scripting language

i think the lack of syntax in scheme helps understanding
certain concepts (and makes the spec simpler), but is not
comfortable in practice, a language like lua (with simple
syntax for associative arrays) goes a long way to be more

but the fundamental reason why we see more mention of c than
lisp is that all relevant operating systems have a unix like
api for which the only detailed spec is posix, a superset of
c99, while a lisp implementation needs to do a lot to bridge
the gap and its abstractions are leaky and costly

but there is good news for those who think c is bad: there are
emerging platforms which may give rise to different languages:
jvm on mobile and enterprise systems and the web with js..
Received on Sat Jun 29 2013 - 22:52:40 CEST

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