Sunday, February 8, 2015

The LISP Connection

"There is a history in all men's lives"
-- Shakespeare, Henry IV Part 2
Act III, Scene I, Line 76

Questions not asked

Why are there so many conference sessions about things to come and how things will get better?

Why are there so many blog posts about what is new and the 5 to 10 things you should know about them?

How many sessions are there that reflect upon the past and what we've learned along the way?

How many blog posts are there about the history of programming and the important lessons we've learned along the way?

What I like about Lisp

LISt Processing is one of the oldest computer languages (FORTRAN is older by a year).  Using LISP or one of its dialects you feel a connection to those programmers and scientist that came before you.

Randall Munroe's xkcd, Lisp Cycles

This sense of connection is an old but very important idea.

What Lisp has taught me thus far

Over the past few months I've been learning Clojure from the Joy of Clojure and now Programming Clojure, here are the things I've learned thus far:

  • homoiconic leads to fewer syntax errors and easier to read code
  • compose functionality from smaller well tested functionality
  • separate assignment of values from actions upon values
I look forward to continuing my path along the Lisp way.

Unlikely credits

Questions not asked and titled inspired by the Rainbow Connection, written by Paul Williams.