Is LISP dying? 
Author Message
 Is LISP dying?

Quote:


> >... Counting versions is not the way to tell the health
> >of a computer language. Count the number of textbooks on
> >the shelves of bookstores intead. I conclude that Lisp
> >and Scheme are still alive with about half to one third
> >as many books as fortran, while Fortran has about one tenth
> >as many books as the big guys like C, Java, Visual Basic
> >and C++. Forth comes out at zero.
> >     When I meet people who tell me they want to learn all
> >about computing, including programming, I want to say learn
> >Forth. But I know that woun't work since they can't even go
> >to the bookstore and buy a book about it. Well at least they
> >can still get some nice books about Logo to get then
> >started.
> Is Amazon a bookstore?  Several Forth books there.

      Amazon is not a bookstore. You can't drop in and
browse. If you don't know what Forth is, or think that Forth
isn't used anymore, you woun't notice a book about it by
accident when you're looking for some other topic on
programming. You can't just buy a book because you have it
in your hot little hand and it looks interesting. You can't
wrap it up and take it right home. People who don't even have an
account to access amazon.com and the web are the easiest to
influence to at least take a look at Forth. They have not
learned the bad habits of other programming languages and can
immediately appreciate the advantages of Forth.

     I just looked for Forth books on amazon.com. Yes there
are several listings. There is only one listed as being in
print, and they say expect delivery within 4 to 6 weeks. There
are also listings for books by Leo Brodie. When I clicked on
"Thinking Forth" I got nothing but a system error. There are
five separate listings for Leo Brodie's book -- "Starting
Forth". That's reasonable since it is at least five times better
than the average book on programming. But its out of print. Its
available only by a special search. It will take them weeks to
find it or tell you if its not available. They don't tell you to
get it faster from the Forth Interest Group in California,
http://www.*-*-*.com/ (at least until their special printing runs
out). Relying on amazon.com to sell Forth textbooks is not a
good thing. It would be better to have a publisher promoting the
book and getting it into bookstores.

     Elizabeth Rather is much too shy and modest. She failed to
mention her own book the "Forth Programmers' Handbook". So I'll
tell everyone that it is the one Forth textbook that is in print
and for sale at amazon.com. When I go to my local technical
bookstores to see if it has finally arrived on the shelves (it
hasn't), I find instead books on the equally neglected computer
languages Lisp, Scheme and Logo. I think that Lisp and its
relatives are much more lively than Forth since they still have
recently revised textbooks for sale. Since Forth is still being
used, I can deduce that Lisp is still being used, even tho I
don't know where. But how long will Forth last without at least
a few easily found textbooks?
I wish old Forth programmers would become inspired by Lisp
programmers to write textbooks so they would be able to train
their replacements.  

--



Sun, 30 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?

Quote:


> > I conclude that Lisp and Scheme are still
> > alive with about half to one third as many books as Fortran,
> > while Fortran has about one tenth as many books as the big guys
> > like C, Java, Visual Basic and C++. Forth comes out at zero.

> So, can you recommend any of those "zero" books? I've never used Forth
> and I'm not sure I ever will. I'm much more attracted to languages from
> the Lisp family -- nonetheless, my curiousity has slowly grown over the
> years.

> Michael

> --
> Michael Schuerig

> http://www.*-*-*.com/

Look at http://www.*-*-*.com/ .{*filter*}ia.edu/classes/551/primer.txt That
should get you started.

Jerry
--
Engineering is the art       |      Let's talk about what
of making what you want      |      you need; you may see
from things you can get.     |      how to do without it.
---------------------------------------------------------



Sun, 30 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?

Quote:



> > >... Counting versions is not the way to tell the health
> > >of a computer language.
  ...

> > Is Amazon a bookstore?  Several Forth books there.

>       Amazon is not a bookstore. You can't drop in and
> browse.
  ...
>      I just looked for Forth books on amazon.com. Yes there
> are several listings. There is only one listed as being in
> print, and they say expect delivery within 4 to 6 weeks.

Amazon always says "4 to 6 weeks", even if they know that the shipment
will arrive tomorrow. Does it take them that long to reprogram their
computer?

  ...

Quote:
> --


Jerry
--
Engineering is the art       |      Let's talk about what
of making what you want      |      you need; you may see
from things you can get.     |      how to do without it.
---------------------------------------------------------


Sun, 30 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?


   :Stoic is very clearly a version of Forth. It is unusual
   :in two respects. Unlike many creatively different versions
   :of Forth, they decided it was sufficently different to have
   :a new name. Also it was documented! It is no longer in use
   :due to a lack of interest. But if anybody wants to find out
   :more about it, digging thru the old archives will produce
   :results.

And if you can't be bothered, I can mail you the version I have.
(However, be warned; I got it in upper case, including all the
documentation, and found it very hard to read, so it is now all lower
case in my copy.)
--
Communa -- you know soft spoken changes nothing



Sun, 30 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?

Quote:

> [...]
>get it faster from the Forth Interest Group in California,
>http://www.fig.org/ (at least until their special printing runs
> [...]

The URL should be <http://www.forth.org/> rather than the above.

Mark

--

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Real-Time Systems Laboratory
--



Sun, 30 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?

Quote:


> > So, can you recommend any of those "zero" books? I've never
> > used Forth and I'm not sure I ever will. I'm much more
> > attracted to languages from the Lisp family -- nonetheless,
> > my curiousity has slowly grown over the years.
> <SNIP>
> See the FAQ for comp.lang.forth for a list.

FIG UK operates a lending library with all the newer titles. You have to
become a member (10/year) first though :) See the web site.

--
Bye for now
                                         ____/  /  __  /   /   /   /   /
Chris Jakeman                           /      /  /  _/   /   /   /  /
                                       __/    /  / __    /   /   /_/
                                      /      /  /   /   /   /   /  \
                                   __/    __/  ____/    ___/ __/   _\

                           Forth Interest Group United Kingdom Chapter
Voice +44 (0)1733 753489   at www.users.zetnet.co.uk/aborigine/forth.htm



Sun, 30 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?

Quote:



>>Really??? There are dozens & dozens of Schemes[*] that *I* know of...
>>How many Forths are there?  Even a dozen?
>I count 28 distinct implementations at
><http://www.forth.org/compilers.html>, and that list is decidedly not
>comprehensive.
>--
>Lisp Users:
>Due to the holiday next Monday, there will be no garbage collection.


Is there a "Forth in LISP" or a "LISP in FORTH"? I know only of a
Forth native code compiler written in PROLOG (recursion is natural in
PROLOG so the backtracking lends itself to compiling primitives first
and succeeding hilevel words).
Andreas


Mon, 31 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?
[..]
Quote:
>Is there a "Forth in LISP" or a "LISP in FORTH"?

[..]

LISP in Forth exists. Well, it doesn't try to emulate LISP but it adds
a LISP-like vocabulary to Forth, mainly list building words with garbage collection. The original
F-PC code for it is on Taygeta, it even has some documentation.

The GC stinks, I never got it to reliably work in a 32-bit flat model
Forth (iForth) after I converted it from its segment-based origin.

I've added some Prolog code to it published in JFAR (Feuerbacher?). The
demo is a rule-based AI program to determine animals :-)

-marcel



Mon, 31 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?

(snip)
Quote:
>Amazon always says "4 to 6 weeks", even if they know that the shipment
>will arrive tomorrow. Does it take them that long to reprogram their
>computer?

(snip)

Nonsense - that's been by far the minority of books I've ordered from
them - for instance, the first language book that I could think of,
"C: A Reference Manual", is claimed to ship in two to three days.

Certainly, number of in-print books and their expected delivery time
is not a bad way of getting a first estimate for the 'health' of a
language! Counting the number of currently-supported compilers you
could use to produce marketable software isn't a bad one either.

[ followups trimmed ]

-- Mark



Mon, 31 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?


Quote:
> Is there a "Forth in LISP" or a "LISP in FORTH"?

Ullrich Hoffmann wrote a Lisp in Forth, but IIRC, like many Forth
projects, he didn't really finish it. Alex Burger wrote and uses a
Lisp/Forth crossing (everything is list/symbol/number, but syntax is
Forth, or at least very Forth-like), called Lifo and Teatime (same, but
implemented in Java, with Java objects as first class data types).

IMHO Forth and Lisp are much closer to each other than to the rest of
the language space (Algol, Fortran, Cobol and derivatives).

--
Bernd Paysan
"If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself"
http://www.jwdt.com/~paysan/

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Mon, 31 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?


Quote:
> Btw, there are a LOT of users of Lisp who do not buy its products and
> prefer to use freeware; if you ask me, it is that practice which hurts
> the community most of all.  People need to either contribute money (or
> public effort, if they insist on using publicware) but they should not
> expect to just "consume" without putting something back and have the
> community survive.

I hear this in the Forth community (which is also "dying" with
increasing traffic for 10 years now ;-), too, but IMHO, that's bull.
*If* freeware products are good enough (or better) than commercial
offerings, commercial offerings aren't worth the price. And since one of
the most popular C/C++ compiler also is freeware (GCC), I suppose C is
dying rapidly, too, eh? Ok, I must admit that the community there works:
they give back a lot of C code. But they also give back Lisp and Scheme
code, and encourage the use of these languages by embedding them as
macro languages in killer applications like Emacs or the Gimp (although
the latter is now getting a Perl interface to have a "more popular" and
"widely known" language it it - urgh. I'd take Scheme over Perl any
day).

IMHO the situation as it is - we see generations of inferiour languages
hyped and passing away, replaced by another inferiour language, while we
know what the "one real true thing" is - this situation has a cause. The
masses aren't intelligent. Not above average - that's why they are
called masses. They want authorities and follow rules (think of the
"Life of Brian" scene of the masses in front of his house). That's how
mass-market languages are created: they have rules (strong typing!
static checks!), and they have restrictions (no run-time generated code!
not extensible by the user - at least not in creative ways!!).

People don't want to think. They don't want to choose one of 23
user-level implementations of OOP, or even decide to write their own
one. They want to have a single standard OOP. Everybody will request
that his feature need of the day is included in the single standard. And
finally, they'll realize that they need to start over again, because
this particular language converted to an unmaintainible mess. But
they'll never come to the point to allow the user to add his feature of
the day. That would be chaos. And that would be just like the dying
languages, Lisp, etc. ...

--
Bernd Paysan
"If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself"
http://www.jwdt.com/~paysan/

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Share what you know. Learn what you don't.



Mon, 31 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?

Quote:

>macro languages in killer applications like Emacs or the Gimp (although
>the latter is now getting a Perl interface to have a "more popular" and
>"widely known" language it it - urgh. I'd take Scheme over Perl any
>day).

Is "Getting" a perl interface?  What's taking them so long?  The python
interface has already been out for quite some time.  ;)

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Mon, 31 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?
Quote:


[snipp]
> Since Forth is still being
> used, I can deduce that Lisp is still being used, even tho I
> don't know where.

[snipp]
In EMACS, of course (if you're talking about the language
with the parentheses :-).
Csaba
--
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US Support +1 888 SOPHOS 9            UK Support +44 1235 559933
Life is complex, with real and imaginary parts.


Mon, 31 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?

Quote:

>In EMACS, of course (if you're talking about the language
>with the parentheses :-).

EMACS is making the transition to Scheme, I believe, because of a simpler
(read: easier to maintain) implementation.  Also, the GIMP uses Scheme as
its native scripting language.

==========================================================================
      KC5TJA/6     |                  -| TEAM DOLPHIN |-
        DM13       |                  Samuel A. Falvo II
    QRP-L #1447    |          http://www.dolphin.openprojects.net
   Oceanside, CA   |......................................................



Mon, 31 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?

Quote:

> >In EMACS, of course (if you're talking about the language
> >with the parentheses :-).

> EMACS is making the transition to Scheme, I believe, because of a simpler
> (read: easier to maintain) implementation.

You have obviously never taken a look at eval.c in Guile.  I'm not
sure you could argue that it simplifies anything.

It is a ways off before we see guile in emacs.  Year minimum.

--

Free Scheme/Lisp Software     http://www.red-bean.com/~craig
I say woe unto those who are wise in their own eyes, and yet
imprudent in 'dem outside                            -Sizzla



Mon, 31 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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