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Re: (OT) Has anyone gone from perl to lisp?

by w-ber (Hermit)
on Jul 18, 2008 at 08:58 UTC ( #698543=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to (OT) Has anyone gone from perl to lisp?

I spent quite some time programming in Scheme and Haskell a year or two ago. Both are very nice programming languages, but I always slide back to Perl. It's difficult to ascertain why, but some reasons include:

  1. Perl is everywhere. Scheme or Lisp compilers and interpreters are not, and they are sometimes harder to install. Same goes with Haskell. This isn't a chicken and egg problem for Lisp anymore; it's been around for 50 years.
  2. Perl integrates. CPAN. No such thing for Lisp or Haskell yet, which makes it awkward to be lazy. (Or: you spend more time re-inventing the wheel and steam engine.)
  3. Perl is good enough. The only things I'm missing from Scheme and Haskell are macros, less convoluted syntax, and static types -- all of which can be found in Perl 6.

However, I heartily recommend both programming languages. It gives you more perspective and problem-solving strategies even if you never switch permanently over.

--
print "Just Another Perl Adept\n";


Comment on Re: (OT) Has anyone gone from perl to lisp?
Re^2: (OT) Has anyone gone from perl to lisp?
by Joost (Canon) on Jul 18, 2008 at 19:33 UTC
    Perl integrates. CPAN. No such thing for Lisp or Haskell yet, which makes it awkward to be lazy. (Or: you spend more time re-inventing the wheel and steam engine.)
    While it's broadly true that Lisp doesn't have as vast a centralized repository of extensions as CPAN (I have no experience with Haskell), asdf-install combined with cliki.net do provide a way to download, test and install many of the more interesting Common Lisp extensions.

    Note that Common Lisp is "just" a standard, with quite a lot of implementations and because of the age of the standard (work on the standards started in the 1986, but lisp was already old back then) it doesn't include many of the things that nowadays are taken for granted, like threads and network APIs (and other parts seem very complex, like the official file system API).

    All of this means that it's not always easy to make interesting extensions portable across implementations (though there's quite a lot of work going on to make it easier), which may explain why Lisp doesn't have as large a library of tools as Perl does.

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