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2 points by rocketnia 2825 days ago | link | parent

This might help a lot with implementing lisp in strongly typed languages.

Don't most of them have option types or polymorphism of some kind? If you've got a really rigid one, at least you can represent every value the lisp as a structure with one element being the internal dynamic type (represented as an integer if necessary) and at least two child elements of the same structure type and one element of every built-in type you'll ever need to manipulate from the lisp (like numbers and sockets). Then you just do manual checks on the dynamic type to see what to do with the rest. :-p

The only problem is then how do you get the actual value out of an atom, and what is it?

I say the programmer never gets the actual value out of the atom. :-p It's just handled automatically by all the built-in functions. However, this does mean the cons cell representation is completely irrelevant to a high-level programmer.