10 votes

Why I still Lisp (and you should too!)

14 comments

  1. [6]
    imperialismus
    (edited )
    Link
    SICP is my favorite programming textbook, but I never reach for Lisp when I actually want to program something. To me, it's a great teaching tool, but not my favorite tool for any practical...

    SICP is my favorite programming textbook, but I never reach for Lisp when I actually want to program something. To me, it's a great teaching tool, but not my favorite tool for any practical purpose.

    Also, implementing a Lisp is a great exercise - I've done it several times.

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      Moonchild
      Link Parent
      Out of curiosity, why not?

      I never reach for Lisp when I actually want to program something

      Out of curiosity, why not?

      5 votes
      1. imperialismus
        Link Parent
        It's never seemed like the right tool for the job. What I admire about Lisp is its simplicity - but that means for a quick script I'd rather grab something more "batteries included". For a more...

        It's never seemed like the right tool for the job. What I admire about Lisp is its simplicity - but that means for a quick script I'd rather grab something more "batteries included". For a more complex program, I find the lack of syntax hard to read (head swimming in parentheses after a while), and I am a convert to static typing at least when it comes to bigger codebases.

        There are Lisps that add more features, including optional typing and large standard libraries, but I find them to be bloated which takes away from the elegance and simplicity which I consider to be the chief advantage of a Lisp in the first place.

        4 votes
    2. [3]
      cstby
      Link Parent
      I know what you mean. Check out Clojure. It's way more practical than ELISP or Scheme.

      I know what you mean. Check out Clojure. It's way more practical than ELISP or Scheme.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        pvik
        Link Parent
        I agree clojure is great, but I am not sure I agree with it being more practical than Scheme (or Common Lisp) (not sure why you chose to include elisp in the comparison :) If I don't have to use...

        I agree clojure is great, but I am not sure I agree with it being more practical than Scheme (or Common Lisp) (not sure why you chose to include elisp in the comparison :)

        If I don't have to use the JVM (or javascript) for a project, the chances of me picking clojure drop considerably, and using CL increases proportionally!

        2 votes
        1. cstby
          Link Parent
          Totally fair! The big advantage of Clojure is using the same semantics on both the server and the client!

          Totally fair! The big advantage of Clojure is using the same semantics on both the server and the client!

          2 votes
  2. bendersteed
    Link
    Well I was trying to get into programming for years, doing things around and never did it click until I stumbled upon lisp. It was maybe a perfect match for me and led me into getting a really...

    Well I was trying to get into programming for years, doing things around and never did it click until I stumbled upon lisp. It was maybe a perfect match for me and led me into getting a really deeper understanding of programming. I guess that this won't work for everyone. But if you feel you like programming but something is missing then try to learn lisp and I think it will be worth it.

    4 votes
  3. acdw
    Link
    I've begun picking up Lisp through using Emacs, and even that (which I've heard Emacs lisp is ... not among the best lisps) is a breath of fresh air compared to the other languages I've half-used....

    I've begun picking up Lisp through using Emacs, and even that (which I've heard
    Emacs lisp is ... not among the best lisps) is a breath of fresh air compared to
    the other languages I've half-used. I really like it. I need to figure out
    whether I want to learn CL, Racket, or something else next.

    3 votes
  4. [2]
    rogue_cricket
    Link
    I used to program full-time in Clojure. I really, really miss it (I write mostly SQL now... hooray). I felt like it exercised my brain.

    I used to program full-time in Clojure. I really, really miss it (I write mostly SQL now... hooray). I felt like it exercised my brain.

    3 votes
    1. pvik
      Link Parent
      Agreed! Clojure is great when you have to deal with Java. Libraries like honeysql are great when you have to build dynamic SQL queries! Currently am working on a desktop GUI in my free time, and...

      Agreed! Clojure is great when you have to deal with Java.

      Libraries like honeysql are great when you have to build dynamic SQL queries!

      Currently am working on a desktop GUI in my free time, and using rust (with webview) and clojurescript (with re-frame), it is a lot more enjoyable experience!

      3 votes
  5. [3]
    vord
    Link
    Question for you Lispers...Have you read Land of Lisp and what do you think of it? I've been circling around learning Lisp for some time, and the comic/humor aspect appeals a bit.

    Question for you Lispers...Have you read Land of Lisp and what do you think of it?

    I've been circling around learning Lisp for some time, and the comic/humor aspect appeals a bit.

    2 votes
    1. vegai
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Truth to be told, the humor is too cringy for me. Humor and technical textbooks is a very difficult combination. The only one I know who's managed to nail it is Why: https://poignant.guide/ If I...

      Truth to be told, the humor is too cringy for me. Humor and technical textbooks is a very difficult combination. The only one I know who's managed to nail it is Why: https://poignant.guide/

      If I could write a single book like this, I would be happy.

      3 votes
    2. pvik
      Link Parent
      Yup, I have read Land of Lisp and it is a pretty good book to get up to speed on writing CL. He does gloss over more arcane stuff/cruft that comes with CL to get you writing workable code! Another...

      Yup, I have read Land of Lisp and it is a pretty good book to get up to speed on writing CL. He does gloss over more arcane stuff/cruft that comes with CL to get you writing workable code!

      Another suggestion is Practical Common Lisp, which also goes over building actual projects in CL to teach CL itself, however without most of the humor/any comic aspect.

      The main issue I have with most of the CL books out there is they do not cover using asdf/quicklisp, which I feel is an important piece in modern CL development.

      2 votes
  6. Micycle_the_Bichael
    Link
    I see its time for my quarterly "oooo I should really learn Lisp/Haskell" binge for 4 days. Someday my brain will get tired of chasing the shiny new programming language (new for my brain, I know...

    I see its time for my quarterly "oooo I should really learn Lisp/Haskell" binge for 4 days. Someday my brain will get tired of chasing the shiny new programming language (new for my brain, I know Lisp and Haskell aren't new languages)

    2 votes