in reply to Re^4: TMTOWTDI... and most of them are wrong
in thread TMTOWTDI... and most of them are wrong

Paul Graham is famous for selling his company and writing a book. Paul might be a good programmer, but his book didn't have much technical material in it, so I really couldn't say.

He's also rather well known in the Lisp world for his other books - ANSI Common Lisp (exactly what it says on the tin) and On Lisp (a rather good advanced lisp book) :-)

I don't know Lisp, so I wouldn't be able to tell from his code anyway.

As a (mostly ex- these days unfortunately) Lisp programmer I'd say he's pretty darn good.

Not to say that I'd agree with every word he says on technical subjects (like don't agree with everything merlyn or TheDamian say :-), but I'd pay attention.

In general, I feel like the whole "languages for smart people" thing is often hauled out as an excuse for writing obfuscated code that would fail your test 2. Most of us are less smart than we like to think when it comes to programming, and even smart people are often smart in different ways.

You're right, it is sometimes used as an excuse for terrible code - but anybody who does is completely missing the point Graham is trying to make. You can write obfu code that only "smart" people can understand in any language.

While he didn't win any friends by the way he named the LFM and LFSP divide I think there is an interesting contrast to be made between languages like Lisp and Perl whose philosophy seems to be to trust the programmer to use powerful tools appropriately, and languages like Java and Python that seem, to quote Graham, "deliberately restrict the abstractive power of the language".

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Re^6: TMTOWTDI... and most of them are wrong
by perrin (Chancellor) on Jul 02, 2005 at 01:48 UTC
    I'll be glad to accept Graham's Lisp books as proof of his technical chops.