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2 points by akkartik 2235 days ago | link | parent

I can relate with wanting to be more accessible to non-lispers, but I primarily want to search for better ways to write programs. I'm not in the education business. I'm in the invention business.

Parsing indentation is a muscle just like parsing parentheses. Some programmers have experience with one, some have trained their visual cortex with the other. Whichever side you're on, it's good to leave one's comfort zone. Otherwise we risk being ruled by our languages and tools.


Checking for the space between function name and its arglist is a (minor) burden for the writer, but it seems painless for the reader. I think that's the right kind of decision. I'm happy to put the writer through some hoops if it makes reading easier.

The primary problem with Java's verbosity isn't that it's too much trouble to type. It is that it leaves readers to sip at the codebase through a straw.

Again, I'm not a fan of readable's specific approach. But I am totally on board with the general idea of looking to improve on s-expressions. I'm sure there can be new features out there that are better for existing Lisp coders.

3 points by zck 2235 days ago | link

I do agree that s-expressions shouldn't be set in stone. But I'm not sure that these specific suggestions are useful. Maybe I'm being a Luddite in regards to change.

I guess I'm on board with the curly-infix expressions for math. Maybe. I do hate having to mentally parse through lines like

  {{1 * 2} + {3 / 4}}
To get "oh, this is adding two things together". But ok. Maybe. But the minute I have to distinguish between the form

  ... fun(arg1 arg2 arg3) ...

  ... fun (arg1 arg2 arg3) ...
I'm done. Granted, I haven't actually used neoteric expressions -- and I should try them -- but until I do, this style looks much less readable to me. I disagree that it's painless; it seems actually quite painful to me. It sure is closer to Algol-style coding, but it's just asking you to confuse the two. And that's easily done.


1 point by akkartik 2235 days ago | link

Fair enough. You don't typically see the no space style in lisp, so it stands out for me. But you're right that it's not as cut and dried as I thought.

I actually dislike the curlies far more :)