[FoRK] The grand scheme of things...

Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> on Sat Nov 3 20:15:15 PDT 2007

On Nov 3, 2007, at 6:47 AM, Andy Armstrong wrote:

> On 3 Nov 2007, at 00:34, Jeff Bone wrote:
>> Yeah, that's a snippet of something I actually wrote recently.   
>> And yeah, it actually made sense at the time. ;-)
> It's not that higher-order apart from a bit of currying is it? I  
> don't know Python - am I missing something sexy?

It's not particularly higher-order, but it's a heavily deconstructed  
bit of list manipulation, and reads fairly declaratively.  The only  
higher-order functions are slurp(), run(), and the definitions of s_ 
() and _s() --- the latter two only in the sense of passing the fed()  
predicate to filter.  The lambdas weren't strictly speaking necessary  
in all cases...

> I don't really know Python (thought it was Ruby at first...) but  
> those top level lambda assignments are just normal method  
> definitions in disguise, yes? They don't appear to need to be lambdas.

In some cases that's --- I could've used defs.  This was a lot more  
concise, though.  And again, it wasn't until I started looking at all  
of these things as little pieces to be recombined that I could "see"  
how to calculate aa, ss, as, and sa.  I'm probably missing a large  
and critical part of the explanation here, but that was sort of the  
point.  This is NOT good Python --- but it was a (successful)  
experiment in pushing a notation as far as possible in a particular  
direction in order to *think* about the problem in an out-of-the-box  
sort of way.

I really do believe that the constraints of syntax and notation  
imposed by a given programming language seriously impact how we  
perceive and therefore address certain problems.

> OK - it's obviously more complex than I thought - I can't see how  
> aa, as, sa, as get called.

Ah, well, that's because it's a snippet. ;-)


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