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Re: Choose the most powerful language

by hding (Chaplain)
on May 01, 2001 at 18:00 UTC ( #76960=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Choose the most powerful language

As someone who has been throwing around the same article as Lisp advocacy, I felt compelled to put in my say. :-) I do basically agree with Tilly's points. I guess I feel there are (at least) two distinct kinds of language advocates: those who rabidly and unconditionally push their own favorite language(s), and those (among whom I like to fancy myself) simply want to make sure that someone has a reasonable understanding of a tool before dismissing it for a task. I have to admit that I get very tired of hearing rampant misconceptions about Lisp (or Perl, or Smalltalk, etc.) - it's slow, it's interpreted, it's only good for AI, etc., and I find that it's puzzling that people are willing to propagate such without bothering to check out for themselves whether or not they are true, and Graham's piece is at least a good pointer to get people to reconsider their preconceptions, and perhaps look into things more deeply.

One of Graham's point that I found particularly interesting is that people are often loathe even to consider the possibility that tools other than the ones they are accustomed to may sometimes be able to bring more power to bear on problems, while at the same time they are willing to look down on tools that are demonstrably less powerful for the same problems. I wonder how it is that we can become so indoctrinated in certain ways of thinking and working (and I do not always exclude myself here) that we miss the opportunity to discover new and better ways to do things? I find that such experimentation is one of the enjoyable things about this field.

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