Re: Python's future bright?

Robert S. Thau (
Fri, 25 Jun 1999 19:14:50 -0400 (EDT)

Eugene Leitl writes:
> Robert S. Thau writes:
> > With that, I'm almost willing to say that anything Scheme can do, Perl
> > can do better. Almost. The problem is that Perl uses reference
> Perl is fat, while Scheme is not (ever tried writing a silicon
> compiler dumping a Perl chip VHDL in Perl? While Lisp machines are
> gone, people are writing bootable Scheme OSses). Scheme has true gc,
> while Perl doesn't.

I mentioned storage handling as a major deficiency of Perl (and
Python), but people are nevertheless using it to handle very large
data sets in memory --- and it works fine, so long as reference
counting meets your needs. (Ghod help you if it doesn't).

> Scheme is easy to parse and to compile -- don't
> try this with Perl at home, kids. Scheme has no syntax troubles. Most
> Scheme stuff can optimize tail-recursion.

Ease of implementation is kind of a moot point to people who aren't
planning to write a new one (and most people aren't). WRT the rest,
please at least grant me that some of these are matters of taste ---
there are probably as many people out there who have trouble with
Scheme's syntax as with Perl's. And optimizing tail-recursion is a
serious issue mainly if it's your language's best iteration construct.

> As Forth, Scheme is a
> steep-hierarchy language, letting you define application languages and
> writing the application.

And as Perl. Sigh...