Why don't people use LISP



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I get that same awe from functional languages as I do with piping constructs in Unix shell. Simple commands/function strung together can do amazing things.



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what amazes me is the size of the guides/cookbooks for modern languages compared to say K&R's 'The C Programming Language'.
You could not say that better! Software obesity is the new trend. But how otherwise would they sell 4-8TB hard drives and SSD?


Beastie's Twin

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In all honesty the K&R book is only an introduction and and a minimal reference to the language. Very good at achieving those goals though. It fails pretty hard at explaining how to use the language and what are the pitfalls of it when applied to application development and why it doesn't hold your hand like many higher level languages do to protect your from making silly mistakes.


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The reason why I don't use it is because I never have been in a situation where it was required. Granted, when I took an AutoCAD class, AutoLISP was mentioned, but we never used it. I do a lot of under-the-hood stuff so I rarely venture out of C these days. C++ is just object oriented C when you get right down to it. I've only used PHP, JavaScript, and VBScript in the context of web development. For Microsoft platforms, Visual Basic, Visual C#, and Visual C++ are the staples that I use there. I have looked at Python. It looks interesting as a functional language, but you don't get into the detail work that is standard fare for C/C++ and even C# to some extent. I have never really used Ruby.

So I guess it comes down to the fact that people use what they know, what they are comfortable with, right tool for the job, etc.... I would imagine it's the same issue why we don't see LOGO, ADA, or Forth in common use (I know that Forth is used as the FreeBSD 3rd stage bootloader when booting the system). Fortran and COBOL are still used in their respective arenas (scientific and business apps), but that is going by the wayside as well. Although Java is still a relatively strong contender, most other non-web languages are becoming victims of the C++/Python bandwagon.


Son of Beastie

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kpa Like FreeBSD, C was written by professionals for professionals who don't need or want hand holding. That's what PHP and BASIC are for.

When I was dragged, kicking and screaming--forced to learn C away from my beloved assembly language, I (we) learned from K&R and I still have that same white book sitting on my shelf from 1985.


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I have a copy of the K&R book myself...but I didn't learn C from that one. I initially took a class in C. I had issues with it. Then in the late 1990s, I started to use FreeBSD so I had to learn C. I did so from a different book. I have been using it ever since.