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When I grow up I want to be a lisp programmer

24 October 2007 No Comment

I have read quite a bit about Lisp before and most of it, frankly went over my head as a non-programmer except bar a few articles of Paul Graham’s on Lisp. Paul is one of the brainchild(ren??) behind ViaWeb which is now Yahoo Shopping and the author of a number of books: ANSI Common Lisp, Hackers & Painters and On Lisp, which you can download here

Today, I happened to come across this link and the guy in the picture just happens to be John McCarthy, the man who designed Lisp, which I discovered only after reading up on a few of the lesser known, yet interesting languages: OCaml, Haskell, Smalltalk, Lua, Lisp et. al. later in the day on reddit.com

Of those languages, the only ones that really interests me after reading a bit about each are Smalltalk and Lisp – that’s just me. I’ve also previously read a bit about Smalltalk, especially it’s IDE, the ‘doit’ concept and Seaside, a Smalltalk web framework which I discovered from this post onsmalltalk.com which is an interesting read. Seaside itself is quite interesting. Anyway, to get a bit of a feel for smalltalk I downloaded bottomfeeder an RSS/Atom reader. It was a bit ugly and consume 80mb of memory on startup, not good impressions there, but that’s only important if you want to do GUI desktop stuff, so Smalltalk and seaside will get a look-in one day.

So back to Lisp, it is known as ‘the programmable programming language’ and reading the introduction of Paul Graham’s “On Lisp” book and throughout his articles, he really puts this as THE killer reason why to use Lisp. Frankly, I have only enough of an idea that it sounds cool and I don’t pretend to know anything else but being able to write macros as a foundation as a base around how you write your application is, well cool. So, this post really mostly serves as a note to future self – learn lisp and when you do, check out the status of the weblocks framework and probably has little meaning for anyone with half a clue. The cool title just helps me remember what to look for when I grow up.

Hopefully, by that stage I would have migrated my wordpress blog to Django and be proficient enough in a language to claim an ubergeek title and go to nerd parties and have some woman buy a Unix for Dummies book to get to know me better.

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