|I've been curious about trying Arc for a while, but have both been too busy, and using Windows. However, now that those problems are gone, I have an opportunity to look into it more closely, and I have two questions.|
1) Why is Arc a Lisp-1, rather than a Lisp-2? I realize that this is a huge issue that's been up in the air since the beginnings of Lisp... but it seems to me as though a Lisp-2 gives much more flexibility than a Lisp-1.
It also doesn't seem to me as though a Lisp-2 requires that much "clutter" to the code. For one thing, a better name for a function like apply or funcall could be "use". Also, section 5, "Syntax", of http://paulgraham.com/arcll1.html, suggests to me that the clutter of a Lisp-2 (funcall, apply, symbol-function, etc) could be greatly abbreviated by using some syntax. For example, instead of:
you could have:
(apply fn args)
There's no special significance to choosing the $ (sigil) here, except that I don't think it currently has any significance in Arc.
Although I'm anything but a Lisp expert, it does seem to me that it should be possible for a "word" to have meaning both as a "noun" and a "verb".
2) Since I'm completely new to Arc, should I check out the previous release (arc2.tar) before I look at the new one from a few days ago? There seems to be, at the moment, a lot of "documentation" (such as http://arcfn.com/doc/index.html) on the previous version, which could help a newbie.
EDIT -- fixed formatting problem