[FoRK] Re: Arc's out, Nu vs. newLISP, and a retort to Paul Graham's elitism

Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> on Wed Jan 30 07:08:30 PST 2008

On Jan 30, 2008, at 8:23 AM, Justin Mason wrote:

> Jeff Bone writes:
>> Some of the design
>> choices he's made are just bad, too.
> As Artistotle Pagaltzis notes at http://plasmasturm.org/log/491/ ,
> that includes not bothering with any Unicode support.  (!)

Right, though that wasn't even what I was thinking of.

This thing is ALL about making almost completely superficial tweaks  
to the regular Lisp lexicon of terms and forms.  There's no substance  
here.  Continuations and call/cc?  Who knows, maybe.  Objects?  Eh,  
kind of, but we're not really taking a stand.  Standard library?   
Fuggedaboutit.  Support for new stuff like lots of new literal syntax  
for useful datatypes (time / date, URI, pathnames, etc.)?   
Unification of docs, objects, and tables ala C-Omega / LINQ?   
Embedding of markup as first-class literal syntax?  New concurrency  
prims?  Exposed internals / reflective stack?  Compilation?  FFI?   
Baked-in serialization of all types, including closures and  
continuations?  Join calculus?  Selective lazy evaluation?   
Progressive typing?  Tail call optimization required?  Bueller?   

Smoke another one.

There's NOTHING NEW HERE.  Just a bunch of trivial abbreviations and  
minor syntactic sugar.  There's NO innovation!  FWIW, Rebol circa 8  
years ago was a far more impressive "new Lisp" than Arc!  If you're  
looking for new ideas in programming languages that are going to  
allow you to solve lots of problems a lot more easily, don't bother  
looking here.  OTOH, if you're a die-hard Lisper who just loves to  
learn trivial new dialects of Lisp for fun, this is your ticket to ride.

Forget innovation, Arc's not even an acceptable modern Lisp!  Hello,  
MODULE SYSTEM?!?!  You're telling me there's NO MODULE SYSTEM?!?!   
AGAIN?!?!  Did we learn nothing at all through 6 rounds of RxRS over  
~20-odd years with Scheme?


Perhaps I'm being too harsh, but when you blast the world for years  
with manifestos about how inadequate all programming languages are  
besides Lisp, and yet how Lisp isn't even really suitable yet, but  
wait --- you're going to save the day, everybody just hold your  
breath until your shiny new version comes and solves all the world's  
programming problems...  when you do that, then you deliver this, you  
deserve whatever abuse anybody wants to send your way.


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