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4 points by lisper 3252 days ago | link | parent

Not that I really want to flog this dead horse, but since you ask: my enthusiasm for Arc is dampened by the fact that it's a Lisp-1 with non-hygienic macros. This is not a problem as long as the code base and the user community is small, but the larger the code base gets the more of a problem it will be. By the time the code base is large enough for the problem to be evident it will be very painful to fix it.

IMHO of course. Paul sees things differently.



4 points by almkglor 3252 days ago | link

This is IMO true and has been of concern to me; I've tried to ameliorate this by adding packages and 'symeval to Arc-F, but I'm not 100% sure that those aren't just hacks to get around the weakness of the core design ^^

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4 points by arco 3252 days ago | link

does your opinion come from experience? or it's just that you have a hunch in this direction?

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6 points by lisper 3252 days ago | link

Neither. I've never done any large-scale coding in Scheme (I'm a Common Lisper) but it's more than just a hunch. The theory behind name capture is easy to understand. The only counter that I've heard is, "Well, it just doesn't seem to be a problem in practice." I believe that this is only because the Arc code and user base have not yet reached the scale where the problems manifest themselves.

But even if Paul is right and name capture is rarely if ever a problem in practice, punting on name capture seems to me fundamentally at odds with the stated goal of producing the 100-year language. At best it's an unnecessary burden on the programmer, and at worst it's a time bomb that could go off any time. Either way it doesn't make me optimistic that Arc is going to win in the long run.

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