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Re: Explanation of macros; Haskell macros

 
 
mike420@ziplip.com
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      10-31-2003
{newsgroup list trimmed}

>> "Anton van Straaten" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

>
>>>Yes, but the point is that with a concise syntax for lambda, entire
>>>classes of macros can become unnecessary. That's how Smalltalk
>>>handles 'if', for example - no macros or special forms needed.


I keep hearing good (or at least interesting) things about Smalltalk.
But back when I looked at it, I was really unimpressed by its
community. The mood is generally like "Yeah, Smalltalk is dead,
let's finish the projects we are working on in Smalltalk and
move on". At least we, Lispers, are militant and aim for world
domination. This defeatism discouraged me from seriously studying
Smalltalk. In addition to short LAMBDA (is it shorter than "\" ?),
what interesting features does Smalltalk have that Lisp does *not*
have?

By the way, you can have short LAMBDA in Lisp too:

(defmacro \(&rest rest) `(lambda ,@rest))

 
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James A. Robertson
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      10-31-2003
Smalltalk is far from dead - we get thousands of downloads for Cincom
Smalltalk NC, and we have a very active developer community. Check
out the Smalltalk IRC channel:

http://wiki.cs.uiuc.edu/VisualWorks/IRC

and see what people are up to

On Thu, 30 Oct 2003 18:40:51 -0800 (PST), http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) wrote:

>{newsgroup list trimmed}
>
>>> "Anton van Straaten" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

>>
>>>>Yes, but the point is that with a concise syntax for lambda, entire
>>>>classes of macros can become unnecessary. That's how Smalltalk
>>>>handles 'if', for example - no macros or special forms needed.

>
>I keep hearing good (or at least interesting) things about Smalltalk.
>But back when I looked at it, I was really unimpressed by its
>community. The mood is generally like "Yeah, Smalltalk is dead,
>let's finish the projects we are working on in Smalltalk and
>move on". At least we, Lispers, are militant and aim for world
>domination. This defeatism discouraged me from seriously studying
>Smalltalk. In addition to short LAMBDA (is it shorter than "\" ?),
>what interesting features does Smalltalk have that Lisp does *not*
>have?
>
>By the way, you can have short LAMBDA in Lisp too:
>
>(defmacro \(&rest rest) `(lambda ,@rest))


<Talk Small and Carry a Big Class Library>
James Robertson, Product Manager, Cincom Smalltalk
http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/blog/blogView
 
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Dave Harris
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      10-31-2003
(E-Mail Removed) () wrote (abridged):
> I keep hearing good (or at least interesting) things about Smalltalk.
> But back when I looked at it, I was really unimpressed by its
> community. The mood is generally like "Yeah, Smalltalk is dead,
> let's finish the projects we are working on in Smalltalk and
> move on". At least we, Lispers, are militant and aim for world
> domination. This defeatism discouraged me from seriously studying
> Smalltalk.


When was that? In recent years Smalltalk has acquired an ANSI standard, it
has several important new implementations (Squeak, Dolphin, S#), was the
birthplace of the Refactoring Browser and Extreme Programming. I'd say it
was pretty vibrant.


> In addition to short LAMBDA (is it shorter than "\" ?), what
> interesting features does Smalltalk have that Lisp does *not* have?


I like it because of its concrete object model and syntax.

I realise Lisp lets you build just about any object model you want, but
this is an area where the cutting down of possibilities is helpful
(assuming Smalltalk matches what you want to do).

I find Lisp syntax to be too austere. It gives me too few clues as to
semantics. I believe Smalltalk is about the right balance between that
austerity on the one hand, and the full-on "different syntax for every
concept" of languages like C. (Actually I'd like just a leetle more syntax
than what Smalltalk has, but I don't know how to add it without screwing
it up.)

-- Dave Harris, Nottingham, UK
 
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Pascal Costanza
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      10-31-2003
Dave Harris wrote:

> (E-Mail Removed) () wrote (abridged):
>
>>I keep hearing good (or at least interesting) things about Smalltalk.
>>But back when I looked at it, I was really unimpressed by its
>>community. The mood is generally like "Yeah, Smalltalk is dead,
>>let's finish the projects we are working on in Smalltalk and
>>move on". At least we, Lispers, are militant and aim for world
>>domination. This defeatism discouraged me from seriously studying
>>Smalltalk.

>
>
> When was that? In recent years Smalltalk has acquired an ANSI standard, it
> has several important new implementations (Squeak, Dolphin, S#), was the
> birthplace of the Refactoring Browser and Extreme Programming. I'd say it
> was pretty vibrant.


mike420 is a troll.

Apart from that it seems to me that many Smalltalkers have spent several
years in the Java community, because "it's not _that_ bad", but now that
they realize that "it _is_ _that_ bad" they are returning.

>>In addition to short LAMBDA (is it shorter than "\" ?), what
>>interesting features does Smalltalk have that Lisp does *not* have?

>
> I like it because of its concrete object model and syntax.
>
> I realise Lisp lets you build just about any object model you want, but
> this is an area where the cutting down of possibilities is helpful
> (assuming Smalltalk matches what you want to do).


Why is it that computer science is the only field in which "cutting down
possibilities" is considered to be "helpful"?!?


Pascal

 
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Dave Harris
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      11-01-2003
(E-Mail Removed) (Pascal Costanza) wrote (abridged):
> mike420 is a troll.


Yes, but I enjoyed thinking and writing about his questions.


> Why is it that computer science is the only field in which "cutting
> down possibilities" is considered to be "helpful"?!?


It's not. There's a maxim, "Form liberates". I think it's very profound
and general. There's nothing so scary as a blank page.

For example, I find it easier to write C++ code if I adhere to a style
guide, consistent indentation and naming etc. The freedom to indent all
over the place just isn't useful. Having to make a decision about
indentation at each line can lead to a form of analysis paralysis.

Likewise with working in stone, or any physical medium. Or attempting to
write under artificial constraints, such as without using the letter 'e'.
Such constraints can encourage, even force, more creative solutions.

-- Dave Harris, Nottingham, UK
 
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prunesquallor@comcast.net
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      11-01-2003
(E-Mail Removed) (Dave Harris) writes:

> There's a maxim, "Form liberates". I think it's very profound
> and general. There's nothing so scary as a blank page.


But not universally true. The good artist adheres to form, the great
artist knows when to break it.


 
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