Lisp,LIsp,LISp,LISP... 
Author Message
 Lisp,LIsp,LISp,LISP...

I just got my copy of Common LISP, Second Edition.  It's Family-Bible
size -- twice the number of pages as the first edtion!  How'm I
supposed to learn LISP when I can't even fit the text into my
briefcase?  Can you imagine what's happening at the universities?

"Yeah, I thought about taking LISP, but C's a better language.  It's
smaller, more portable."

"Now, class for exercises using LISP..."

"We took LISP off our computer.  We decided that it was taking up too
much room; why, just look at the size of the Reference Manual!"

                                ;-)



Sun, 12 Jul 1992 06:58:44 GMT  
 Lisp,LIsp,LISp,LISP...

Quote:

>I just got my copy of Common LISP, Second Edition.  It's Family-Bible
>size -- twice the number of pages as the first edtion!  How'm I

ANSI Common Lisp has, by my reckoning, increased the number of
unique syntactical constructs from 26 to 31 (29 special forms, the
form for macro calls, and the form for function calls).
Individual macros and functions play the same role as the standard
library functions and header file definitions of ANSI C.  As I
understand it, the spirit of Common Lisp is that common idioms
employed in multiple application areas ought to be standardized
(i.e., incorporated into the language definition), for several
reasons:

a) To prevent gratuitous incompatibility and nonportability.

b) To reduce the need to continually invent, implement, and
optimize equivalent idioms from one project or company to the next.

c) To allow for implementation-specific optimization (beneath the
interface).

Some Common Lisp implementations - e.g., those for computers not
having virtual memory - often omit such macros and functions from
the base memory image, loading them automatically into the running
system from disk on first reference.

Similar arguments for portability, reuse, and optimization apply
to Common Lisp's predefined data types such as RATIO, COMPLEX,
BIT-VECTOR, HASH-TABLE, PATHNAME, and STREAM.

ANSI Common Lisp also embraces some of the functionality of a
programming environment, or even an operating system.  Examples
include ED, COMPILE, LOAD, TRACE, STEP, INSPECT, DISASSEMBLE,
RENAME-FILE, and DELETE-FILE.  Portability of basic system
interfaces was, I assume, a primary goal in defining these.

My suggestion is that people try not be intimidated by the
physical size of CLtL/2e, but to consider it as a reference work
and to learn Common Lisp via one of the tutorial-style books on
the market, such as "Lisp - 3rd Edition" by Winston and Horn, or
even an on-line tutorial such as is included in the $80 Golden
Common Lisp Student Edition (for IBM-compatible PCs).

        Lawrence G. Mayka
        AT&T Bell Laboratories

Standard disclaimer.



Sun, 12 Jul 1992 23:59:57 GMT  
 Lisp,LIsp,LISp,LISP...

Quote:


>>I just got my copy of Common LISP, Second Edition.  It's Family-Bible
>>size -- twice the number of pages as the first edtion!

Have you looked at the documentation for the C library (or libraries)
on, for example, Suns lately?  Unfortunately, CLtL doesn't make such
a clear distinction between the language and the library.

Quote:
>ANSI Common Lisp has, by my reckoning, increased the number of
>unique syntactical constructs from 26 to 31 (29 special forms, the
>form for macro calls, and the form for function calls).

You forget variables and self-evaluating forms.



Edinburgh University.             UUCP:  ...!ukc!ed.ac.uk!J.Dalton



Mon, 13 Jul 1992 23:13:36 GMT  
 Lisp,LIsp,LISp,LISP...

Quote:
> My suggestion is that people try not be intimidated by the
> physical size of CLtL/2e, but to consider it as a reference work
> and to learn Common Lisp via one of the tutorial-style books on
> the market, such as "Lisp - 3rd Edition" by Winston and Horn, or
> even an on-line tutorial such as is included in the $80 Golden
> Common Lisp Student Edition (for IBM-compatible PCs).

Agreed.  You might also consider the book "Essential LISP" by
John Anderson, Albert Corbett, and Brian Reiser, published by Addison-Wesley.
We have found this to be a good book for learning lisp on your own,
even for people who have not programmed in any other languages. (plug, plug...)

-- Brian Reiser
Cognitive Science Laboratory
Princeton University



Tue, 14 Jul 1992 02:24:56 GMT  
 Lisp,LIsp,LISp,LISP...

Quote:
(Brian J. Reiser) writes:

> You might also consider the book "Essential LISP" by John Anderson,
> Albert Corbett, and Brian Reiser, published by Addison-Wesley.

The ISBN is 0-201-11148-9, and the cost in paperback is $24.95.

Quote:
> We have found this to be a good book for learning lisp on your own ...

I used this book to learn lisp on my own.  The book is not specific to
Common LISP and, in fact, is great for learning LISP using the xlisp
program written by David Betz.  Xlisp consists of a single executable
of about 135K bytes; and it can be compiled for UNIX, MSDOS, the Mac,
or the Atari.  Both xlisp and the 350-page XLISP 2.0 LANGUAGE REFERENCE
by Tim Mikkelsen are available free in electronic form for non-
commercial use.  If you have access to a computer, it is entirely
possible to learn LISP with a minimal investment.
--
John E Van Deusen III, PO Box 9283, Boise, ID  83707, (208) 343-1865

uunet!visdc!jiii



Wed, 15 Jul 1992 02:03:41 GMT  
 Lisp,LIsp,LISp,LISP...


  >> >>I just got my copy of Common LISP, Second Edition.  It's Family-Bible
  >> >>size -- twice the number of pages as the first edtion!
  >>
  >> Have you looked at the documentation for the C library (or libraries)
  >> on, for example, Suns lately?  Unfortunately, CLtL doesn't make such
  >> a clear distinction between the language and the library.

I liken this to something like:
ONE: "Wow, that punch you just threw really hurt me!"
TWO: "Oh? Have you ever been hit by ...?"

Common LISP is huge and it's not just the number of functions
available. It's all the esoteric and historic baggage that weighs it
down, IMO. The amount of documentation for other languages is next to
irrelevant when something is obvious in and of itself.
--
Patrick Logan                | ...!{decwrl,sequent,tessi}!mntgfx!plogan

Beaverton, Oregon            |



Wed, 15 Jul 1992 05:22:40 GMT  
 Lisp,LIsp,LISp,LISP...

Quote:

>>>I just got my copy of Common LISP, Second Edition.  It's Family-Bible
>>>size -- twice the number of pages as the first edtion!

>> Have you looked at the documentation for the C library (or libraries)
>> on, for example, Suns lately?  Unfortunately, CLtL doesn't make such
>> a clear distinction between the language and the library.

>I liken this to something like:
>ONE: "Wow, that punch you just threw really hurt me!"
>TWO: "Oh? Have you ever been hit by ...?"

No, what I meant was something like this: The C folk have been clever
enough to publish their giant document in several parts, so that the
"language" part is small and neat, and the library part can be
considered separately.  The Prolog folk have done the same.  Things
like append, for appending lists, are generally not described in the
documentation of the language at all.  They're part of a library, or
else you have to write them yourself.  Lisp, on the other hand, has
traditionally not made an explicit distinction between the language
and many things that in other languages would be considered part of
a library of procedures rather than part of the language.

Quote:
>Common LISP is huge and it's not just the number of functions
>available. It's all the esoteric and historic baggage that weighs it
>down, IMO. The amount of documentation for other languages is next to
>irrelevant when something is obvious in and of itself.

What exactly is the esoteric and historic baggage that you have in
mind?  You may think it's obvious, but a number of people make such
claims and then turned out to disagree with each other or to have been
mistaken about the actual history.

-- Jeff



Sat, 18 Jul 1992 00:53:44 GMT  
 
 [ 7 post ] 

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