free lisp compilers?

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Bagheera

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Sep 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/2/99
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I know, someone shoot me in the head, I've gone nuts,
but I'm looking for a FREE lisp compiler for the PC.
Win95/Win98 or DOS is ok.

Must be able to compile to native code, and create C/C++ linkable object
files.


Prove to me lisp is worth it.

--
Bagherra <jaebear @ frenzy.com>
http://www.frenzy.com/~jaebear
"There's a snake in my boot!"


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Share what you know. Learn what you don't.

Marco Antoniotti

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Sep 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/2/99
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Bagheera, the jungle scout <bagh...@my-deja.com> writes:

> I know, someone shoot me in the head, I've gone nuts,
> but I'm looking for a FREE lisp compiler for the PC.
> Win95/Win98 or DOS is ok.
>
> Must be able to compile to native code, and create C/C++ linkable object
> files.

On UN*X you can get CMUCL (http://www.cons.org). On the PC platform
you can get several trial system, but to actually get a native
compiler you must shell out some Euros.

> Prove to me lisp is worth it.

Pretty simple. Try to extend your C/C++ syntax to handle some special
construct you just came up with. Or, to be even nastier, suppose you
were writing an OO window system. You have several types of windows
and several types of events. Now write a function that does (in C++)

process_event(WindowClass, EventClass);

Careful. The function must dispatch (i.e. be 'virtual') on *both*
arguments. Come back here in three weeks and show us what you came up
with. :) (Actually there is a way to respond to this question in
three hours - allowing some reading of Coplien's and Lippman's books,
along with some basic CL stuff like Keene's "OO Programming in CL":
the answer is very simple in this case).

Did I tickle you enough?

Cheers


--
Marco Antoniotti ===========================================
PARADES, Via San Pantaleo 66, I-00186 Rome, ITALY
tel. +39 - 06 68 10 03 17, fax. +39 - 06 68 80 79 26
http://www.parades.rm.cnr.it/~marcoxa

Bagheera

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Sep 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/2/99
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In article <lw1zch1...@copernico.parades.rm.cnr.it>,

Marco Antoniotti <mar...@copernico.parades.rm.cnr.it> wrote:
>
>
> Bagheera, the jungle scout <bagh...@my-deja.com> writes:
>
> > I know, someone shoot me in the head, I've gone nuts,
> > but I'm looking for a FREE lisp compiler for the PC.
> > Win95/Win98 or DOS is ok.
> >
> > Must be able to compile to native code, and create C/C++ linkable
object
> > files.
>
> On UN*X you can get CMUCL (http://www.cons.org). On the PC platform
> you can get several trial system, but to actually get a native
> compiler you must shell out some Euros.

I already have $800 worth of compilers. Unless you can point me to a
lisp compiler for under $20, I'm not interested.

> > Prove to me lisp is worth it.

<snip trvial C++ problem>

Anything you can do in lisp, I can do in C++. Or any other language for
that matter. True you could get language specific on me and say
something like "make a pointer in Java"...yeah well, you can't, but
there are ways to emulate that behavior. I am very experienced in
several programming languages, and I just wanted a cost analysis of Lisp
that would explain to me why it is worth buying.

I need analysis on things like learning curve (the people I work with
all learned C++ fairly rapidly, but we are all struggling with
perl...for comparison), included software, optimizations on the native
binary generation, and things like that.

Right now I just want to use lisp because it seems to be the only
langauge AI books speak (and the one that went left field to write a
book using C++ didn't learn C++ well enough before they wrote the book).

So I am at an empasse. I want an affordable lisp compiler for Windows,
or an INTELLIGENT explanation of why it is worth what companies charge
for it (on average, it is about 3x the cost of a GOOD professional C++
compiler).

R. Matthew Emerson

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Sep 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/2/99
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[newsgroups trimmed to comp.lang.lisp only]

Bagheera, the jungle scout <bagh...@my-deja.com> writes:

> I already have $800 worth of compilers. Unless you can point me to a
> lisp compiler for under $20, I'm not interested.

You could try Corman Lisp (see http://www.corman.net/). There's a
fully functional evaluation version available from the web site. I
personally have not used it; I have no idea how it compares to other
commercial offerings from Franz, Harlequin, or Digitool.

If you actually want to learn about Lisp a little bit, I recommend the
following books:

Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming: Case Studies in
Common Lisp, by Peter Norvig
ANSI Common Lisp, by Paul Graham
On Lisp, by Paul Graham

-matt

Russell Senior

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Sep 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/2/99
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>>>>> "Bag" == Bagheera, the jungle scout <bagh...@my-deja.com> writes:

Bag> I already have $800 worth of compilers. Unless you can point me
Bag> to a lisp compiler for under $20, I'm not interested.

Er, what I think you mean to say is that you've _spent_ $800 on
compilers. What they are _worth_ is a separate question.

Bag> Prove to me lisp is worth it.

Not my job. Sorry.

If I were you (and depending on what you are trying to do), I'd ditch
the native code requirement for the time being and try out CLISP
(<http://clisp.cons.org>). After you've begun to understand Common
Lisp, then you might be more willing to spend money on it. Or maybe
not.

In other words, prove it to yourself.

Bag> Anything you can do in lisp, I can do in C++.

snicker.


--
Russell Senior ``The two chiefs turned to each other.
sen...@teleport.com Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible
profanity, which, translated meant, `This is
extremely unusual.' ''

Joachim Achtzehnter

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
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Bagheera, the jungle scout <bagh...@my-deja.com> writes:
>
> I already have $800 worth of compilers. Unless you can point me to a

> lisp compiler for under $20, I'm not interested.

You spent $800 on other compilers, but don't want to spend more than
$20 on a Lisp compiler? Probably, you should stick with the compilers
you've got :-)

> Anything you can do in lisp, I can do in C++.

This is certainly true in some sense, but it is a totally meaningless
argument when you are comparing languages. In fact, why not get a
refund for the $800 and simply write your programs in machine code?

> I am very experienced in several programming languages, and I just
> wanted a cost analysis of Lisp that would explain to me why it is
> worth buying.

To make an informed decision regarding the suitability of Lisp for
your situation you would have to understand the language. This will
require some effort. Judging by the tone of your posting, you are not
willing to invest in such an effort, neither financially nor in terms
of the effort it takes to understand the language. In that case, my
advise is to stick with a language you know. If you really want to
evaluate the Lisp family of programming languages, I suggest you
invest in a good book or two, and get one of the evaluation packages
from a Lisp vendor. They all have free evaluation systems for Windows.

Joachim

--
joa...@kraut.bc.ca (http://www.kraut.bc.ca)
joa...@mercury.bc.ca (http://www.mercury.bc.ca)

William Tanksley

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
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On Thu, 02 Sep 1999 22:16:30 GMT, Bagheera, the jungle scout wrote:
> Marco Antoniotti <mar...@copernico.parades.rm.cnr.it> wrote:

>> Bagheera, the jungle scout <bagh...@my-deja.com> writes:

>> > I know, someone shoot me in the head, I've gone nuts,
>> > but I'm looking for a FREE lisp compiler for the PC.
>> > Win95/Win98 or DOS is ok.

There are a couple.

>> > Must be able to compile to native code, and create C/C++ linkable
>> > object files.

>> On UN*X you can get CMUCL (http://www.cons.org). On the PC platform
>> you can get several trial system, but to actually get a native
>> compiler you must shell out some Euros.

>I already have $800 worth of compilers. Unless you can point me to a


>lisp compiler for under $20, I'm not interested.

Plenty of free ones to learn on. If you want more than that, you have to
pay for it, either by money or development effort.

>> > Prove to me lisp is worth it.

><snip trvial C++ problem>

Multiple dispatch with optimization is far from trivial -- the fact that
you think it is only shows your own inexperience.

>Anything you can do in lisp, I can do in C++. Or any other language for
>that matter. True you could get language specific on me and say
>something like "make a pointer in Java"...yeah well, you can't, but

>there are ways to emulate that behavior. I am very experienced in


>several programming languages, and I just wanted a cost analysis of Lisp
>that would explain to me why it is worth buying.

Then ask for a cost analysis. It _sounded_ like you wanted a free
compiler which did everything you wanted, and you wanted the privledge of
acting snippy toward us in the meantime. Sorry, you wanna act like our
master you have to pay us :).

>I need analysis on things like learning curve (the people I work with
>all learned C++ fairly rapidly, but we are all struggling with
>perl...for comparison), included software, optimizations on the native
>binary generation, and things like that.

Okay.

Lisp has an IMMENSE number of functions, but a VERY simple language. The
total learning effort will be less than C++ with STL (I can't say how
much; my information is anecdotal and vague).

Lisp, as a language, offers you TONS of instantly useful utilities -- the
memory management alone is worth the learning curve. Add in CLOS and it's
a real lifesaver.

The Lisp language specification contains a huge number of useful functions
-- so as a library Lisp is very complete. You'll find that you have to do
less work to get any given thing finished.

Perl sucks, BTW. Use Python instead, if you can get away with it. If you
wind up using Lisp elsewhere, though, you'll likely find yourself using
Lisp for your scripting tasks as well -- it's a very flexible language.

>Right now I just want to use lisp because it seems to be the only
>langauge AI books speak (and the one that went left field to write a
>book using C++ didn't learn C++ well enough before they wrote the book).

I hate that kind of thing. I also dislike pessimistic introductory books
-- when I'm learning a language I want to feel that I'm learning a good
thing, not something sucky :).

>So I am at an empasse. I want an affordable lisp compiler for Windows,
>or an INTELLIGENT explanation of why it is worth what companies charge
>for it (on average, it is about 3x the cost of a GOOD professional C++
>compiler).

The main reason, of course, is that comanies charge what the market will
bear. The market for Lisp compilers tends to realize that a good Lisp
contains a LOT of useful things which no C++ compiler has -- and even a
bad one compiles a more complete language than the best C++ compiler can.

>Bagherra <jaebear @ frenzy.com>

--
-William "Billy" Tanksley

Erik Naggum

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
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* Bagheera, the jungle scout <bagh...@my-deja.com>

| Anything you can do in lisp, I can do in C++.

sure, but I think people generally expect you to do it in finite time.

| So I am at an empasse. I want an affordable lisp compiler for Windows,
| or an INTELLIGENT explanation of why it is worth what companies charge
| for it (on average, it is about 3x the cost of a GOOD professional C++
| compiler).

well, assume most companies pay their programmers a lot of money. if you
could save 50% on the time it took to complete a project, that'd be worth
half a lot of money, which equals _way_ more than the difference between
the cost of the compilers.

the reason most managers don't believe it is that they don't actually
know what their programmers spend their time on or that it could be spent
much more wisely. incidentally, doubling he programmer efficiency is
considered weak performance, but it's what you'll get for the first
project or two. with very experienced programmers in both C++ and Lisp,
you get a factor of 3 to 5 improvement in Lisp's favor, but with people
who have spent a year learning their respective language, you should
expect a factor 5 to 10 improvement in Lisp's favor. the irony is that
it's harder to find very experienced C++ programmers than to find very
experienced Lisp programmers, and they cost a _lot_ more.

also, a single good Lisp programmer can easily do more than 20 moderately
good C++ programmers in the same time. the reason is team communication
overhead, which is necessary because doing C++ stuff all alone is too
hard, and you also need to finish in reasonable amount of time. that's
why you don't see a lot of advertising for Lisp folks, but a whole lot of
advertising for C++ folks.

#:Erik
--
save the children: just say NO to sex with pro-lifers

Marco Antoniotti

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
to

Bagheera, the jungle scout <bagh...@my-deja.com> writes:

> In article <lw1zch1...@copernico.parades.rm.cnr.it>,
> Marco Antoniotti <mar...@copernico.parades.rm.cnr.it> wrote:
> >
> >

> > Bagheera, the jungle scout <bagh...@my-deja.com> writes:
> >
> > > I know, someone shoot me in the head, I've gone nuts,
> > > but I'm looking for a FREE lisp compiler for the PC.
> > > Win95/Win98 or DOS is ok.
> > >

> > > Must be able to compile to native code, and create C/C++ linkable
> object
> > > files.
> >
> > On UN*X you can get CMUCL (http://www.cons.org). On the PC platform
> > you can get several trial system, but to actually get a native
> > compiler you must shell out some Euros.
>
> I already have $800 worth of compilers. Unless you can point me to a
> lisp compiler for under $20, I'm not interested.

Ahem! Why did you spend 800 USD on (let's see...) Visual C++ and
don't want to spend money on a good CL compiler? (or better, why do
you insist on using a Windos platform, when you can move to Linux?)

>
> > > Prove to me lisp is worth it.
> <snip trvial C++ problem>

I would be really interested to see how you managed to do this in a
general and systematic way in C++. Really interested. Then I would
ask you how much time you spent to set up the infrastructure and debug
it, and how much you will have to spend to extend the example (which
dealt with multi-method dispatch) to a three way "virtual" functions.

process_event(WindowClass, EventClass, DataClass);

I can tell you the cost of doing this thing in Common Lisp: it is the
cost you pay for learning the language, plus the cost of your
compiler. Apart form that, a well rounded 0, nil, nada, NULL.

> Anything you can do in lisp, I can do in C++. Or any other language for
> that matter.

Of course. I am currently writing programs using the white book
Turing Machine specification.

> True you could get language specific on me and say
> something like "make a pointer in Java"...yeah well, you can't, but
> there are ways to emulate that behavior.

Why would you? Pointers are useless and messy. :) I reach for my
garbage collector :) as soon as I see something like

while (*c++) { ... }

> I am very experienced in several programming languages,

But not in the only one that would really make you change your habits.

...

> So I am at an empasse. I want an affordable lisp compiler for Windows,
> or an INTELLIGENT explanation of why it is worth what companies charge
> for it (on average, it is about 3x the cost of a GOOD professional C++
> compiler).

That is the only point you got rigth. Commercial CL compilers do cost
too much w.r.t. C/C++ environments. I agree on that. But this is a
problem for Franz and Harlequin managers and marketing directors.
Bring it up to them.

Erik Naggum

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
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* Marco Antoniotti <mar...@copernico.parades.rm.cnr.it>

| Commercial CL compilers do cost too much w.r.t. C/C++ environments.

with respect to the lives and the fortunes they save, they're dirt cheap.
with respect to what they make possible, they're also dirt cheap.

note that ANSI standards also cost way too much compared to toilet paper,
and the're pretty bad quality as toilet paper goes, too.

I recently bought a fountain pen. it cost the equivalent of about 1500
throw-away ball pens. 1500 ball pens would have made me very frustrated,
but this sleek, elegant pen made me happy. I also choose Common Lisp.

Bagheera

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
to
In article <lwwvu85...@copernico.parades.rm.cnr.it>,

Marco Antoniotti <mar...@copernico.parades.rm.cnr.it> wrote:
> Ahem! Why did you spend 800 USD on (let's see...) Visual C++

Actually we don't have MSVC. We have: Code Warrior, Watcom, Borland
Builder, MASM, and Visual Cafe.

> and don't want to spend money on a good CL compiler? (or better, why
> do you insist on using a Windos platform, when you can move to Linux?)

Linux is not an option. All of our clients use Windows.
Also, in my group of programmers, only 2 of us knows how
to program under unix, and then only with Motif libraries (which are
EXPENSIVE).

> > > > Prove to me lisp is worth it.
> > <snip trvial C++ problem>
>
> I would be really interested to see how you managed to do this in a
> general and systematic way in C++. Really interested.

If it wouldn't violate my NDA, I would happily explain it to you.

> Of course. I am currently writing programs using the white book
> Turing Machine specification.

in the end...it is all machine code.

> Why would you? Pointers are useless and messy. :) I reach for my
> garbage collector :) as soon as I see something like
>
> while (*c++) { ... }

different strokes...
I happen to be very comfortable with pointers, and
know extremely useful things you can do with them.
They happen to be a tool, and if you know how to use
your tools to their full potential, they are useful
tools.

> > I am very experienced in several programming languages,
>
> But not in the only one that would really make you change your habits.

conjecture.
I'm already mildly familiar with Lisp, I had two classes on it
in College, I just want to learn it better so that I can learn
Lisp based AI.

> > So I am at an empasse. I want an affordable lisp compiler for
Windows,
> > or an INTELLIGENT explanation of why it is worth what companies
charge
> > for it (on average, it is about 3x the cost of a GOOD professional
C++
> > compiler).
>
> That is the only point you got rigth. Commercial CL compilers do cost
> too much w.r.t. C/C++ environments. I agree on that. But this is a
> problem for Franz and Harlequin managers and marketing directors.
> Bring it up to them.

Are there any Lisp compilers that offer student discounts?

Tim Bradshaw

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
to
* Erik Naggum wrote:
> I recently bought a fountain pen. it cost the equivalent of about 1500
> throw-away ball pens. 1500 ball pens would have made me very frustrated,
> but this sleek, elegant pen made me happy. I also choose Common Lisp.

Actually fountain pens are really like Lisp. They're both kind of
left field -- people look at you a bit oddly when you insist on
writing with one. They're not always compatible with things -- lots
of paper will blot with fountain pen. Modern ballpoints are gradually
working their way up (with spring-loaded balls &c &c) to be half as
nice to write with as a fountain pen. They're expensive. They're
harder to learn how to use. But they're just infinitely preferable.

--tim (1928 waterman ideal which leaks ink all over my hands)

Marco Antoniotti

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
to

Bagheera, the jungle scout <bagh...@my-deja.com> writes:

> In article <lwwvu85...@copernico.parades.rm.cnr.it>,


>
> Linux is not an option. All of our clients use Windows.
> Also, in my group of programmers, only 2 of us knows how
> to program under unix, and then only with Motif libraries (which are
> EXPENSIVE).

Lesstif "expensive"?

> > > > > Prove to me lisp is worth it.
> > > <snip trvial C++ problem>
> >
> > I would be really interested to see how you managed to do this in a
> > general and systematic way in C++. Really interested.
>
> If it wouldn't violate my NDA, I would happily explain it to you.

I have the hunch that you cannot really explain it because.... you
can't do it in C++ :)

> > Of course. I am currently writing programs using the white book
> > Turing Machine specification.
>
> in the end...it is all machine code.
>
> > Why would you? Pointers are useless and messy. :) I reach for my
> > garbage collector :) as soon as I see something like
> >
> > while (*c++) { ... }
>
> different strokes...
> I happen to be very comfortable with pointers, and
> know extremely useful things you can do with them.

Yeah! You can write Common Lisp environments :)

> They happen to be a tool, and if you know how to use
> your tools to their full potential, they are useful
> tools.

Good point. Learn CL using one of the free environments and good
books around and then appreciate the "full potential".

> > > I am very experienced in several programming languages,
> >
> > But not in the only one that would really make you change your habits.
>
> conjecture.
> I'm already mildly familiar with Lisp, I had two classes on it
> in College, I just want to learn it better so that I can learn
> Lisp based AI.

Why not CL based numerical computations. You get almost the same
speed as C with CL (and with C you almost get the same speed as
FORTRAN).

>
> Are there any Lisp compilers that offer student discounts?
>

Check out www.alu.org for a list of vendors.

Duane Rettig

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
to
Tim Bradshaw <t...@tfeb.org> writes:

You wrote this article with a fountain pen? Impressive!
But how did you digitize it?

--
Duane Rettig Franz Inc. http://www.franz.com/ (www)
1995 University Ave Suite 275 Berkeley, CA 94704
Phone: (510) 548-3600; FAX: (510) 548-8253 du...@Franz.COM (internet)

Raymond Wiker

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
to
Duane Rettig <du...@franz.com> writes:

> Tim Bradshaw <t...@tfeb.org> writes:
>
> > * Erik Naggum wrote:
> > > I recently bought a fountain pen. it cost the equivalent of about 1500
> > > throw-away ball pens. 1500 ball pens would have made me very frustrated,
> > > but this sleek, elegant pen made me happy. I also choose Common Lisp.
> >
> > Actually fountain pens are really like Lisp. They're both kind of
> > left field -- people look at you a bit oddly when you insist on
> > writing with one. They're not always compatible with things -- lots
> > of paper will blot with fountain pen. Modern ballpoints are gradually
> > working their way up (with spring-loaded balls &c &c) to be half as
> > nice to write with as a fountain pen. They're expensive. They're
> > harder to learn how to use. But they're just infinitely preferable.
> >
> > --tim (1928 waterman ideal which leaks ink all over my hands)
>
> You wrote this article with a fountain pen? Impressive!
> But how did you digitize it?

*Nothing* is impossible with the right tools.

--
Raymond Wiker, Orion Systems AS
+47 370 61150

William Deakin

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
to
Duane Rettig wrote:

> You wrote this article with a fountain pen? Impressive! But how did you digitize
> it?

You assume that tim wrote this article! He, of course, generated the text using
telepathy using his patented cl thought-to-text transfer system ;-)

Cheers,

:-) will


Friedrich Dominicus

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
to
Erik Naggum wrote:
>
> * Bagheera, the jungle scout <bagh...@my-deja.com>

> | Anything you can do in lisp, I can do in C++.
>
> sure, but I think people generally expect you to do it in finite time.
>
> | So I am at an empasse. I want an affordable lisp compiler for Windows,
> | or an INTELLIGENT explanation of why it is worth what companies charge
> | for it (on average, it is about 3x the cost of a GOOD professional C++
> | compiler).
>
> well, assume most companies pay their programmers a lot of money. if you
> could save 50% on the time it took to complete a project, that'd be worth
> half a lot of money, which equals _way_ more than the difference between
> the cost of the compilers.

I agree about this.


>
> also, a single good Lisp programmer can easily do more than 20 moderately
> good C++ programmers in the same time.

but not about this. This is an opinion and not a fact I guess. And maybe
you underestimate the C++ programmers. There are surely some under them
for whom the other way is as true. I don't have the knowledge and
experience to fill this with numbers but some others have found out that
under programmers the differences can be very large. But to say this
holds for all Common Lisp Programmers is a wild guess.

BTW my opinion towards Common Lisp or another functional language is
clear. It's a good idea for any programmer to know at least one
imperative (or even object-oriented) language and a functional language.

Another think I think holds is that there aren't a lot of comparisions
between e.g C++ and other Languages. I guess we all could learn form
that.


Regards
Friedrich

Bagheera

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
to
In article <lwzoz43...@copernico.parades.rm.cnr.it>,
Marco Antoniotti <mar...@copernico.parades.rm.cnr.it> wrote:
> Lesstif "expensive"?

Lesstif is not a full implementation of Motif, and it is NOT
"supported".

> > > I would be really interested to see how you managed to do this in
a
> > > general and systematic way in C++. Really interested.
> >
> > If it wouldn't violate my NDA, I would happily explain it to you.
>
> I have the hunch that you cannot really explain it because.... you
> can't do it in C++ :)

*sigh*
I'll give you a hint. It uses RTTI, template classes, function
overloading and inheritance.

> > I happen to be very comfortable with pointers, and
> > know extremely useful things you can do with them.
>
> Yeah! You can write Common Lisp environments :)

if I had to I suppose, but you can do alot more than that.
especially high end optimizations like poking the system
memory and things like that.

> > They happen to be a tool, and if you know how to use
> > your tools to their full potential, they are useful
> > tools.
>
> Good point. Learn CL using one of the free environments and good
> books around and then appreciate the "full potential".

back to my point...what free environments (unice doesn't count), and
especially, what good books. Of the 8 books I've read...they're all
crap. C++ has many more gurus capable of writing (as far as I can
tell). Are they any books on par with C++ Primer Plus (Mitchel Waite
Signature Series)? That is agreed by MANY c++ programmers to be the
BEST introductory manual on the language.

> > conjecture.
> > I'm already mildly familiar with Lisp, I had two classes on it
> > in College, I just want to learn it better so that I can learn
> > Lisp based AI.
>
> Why not CL based numerical computations. You get almost the same
> speed as C with CL (and with C you almost get the same speed as
> FORTRAN).

If I were using pure numerical computations I would use Miranda or ML.
But I don't do pure numerical computations. I am interested in AI, both
game based and data mining. Lisp happens to be the most prolific AI
language, and therefore the easiest to get examples in. If I had my
way, there would be an equal sampling of AI solutions in C/C++, Pascal,
Fortran, and other imperative languages as there are in Lisp.

Erik Naggum

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
to
* Friedrich Dominicus

| This is an opinion and not a fact I guess.

not just opinion, but the evidence is anecdotal, not fundamental. the
reason it doesn't sound unreasonable to me, and in fact sounds reasonable
is that when you need, say, 5 times as many programmers to handle the
amount of work necessary, you get interaction costs and team overhead
that slows everybody down to a quarter of their top speed alone. but you
can hardly _do_ C++ work alone, except for fairly small things, like
three to six months. if you were to spend 15 to 30 months like that,
you'd have really a hard time. a Common Lisp programmer can get the
system working in a short time, learn a lot from and develop the software
with its users when it's still quite malleable. that's too hard to do in
C++, so you also spend more time designing the system before-hand. all
of this means more time and the demand to get it coded and deployed means
more programmers, which means more team interaction overhead. all of
this really adds up.

| And maybe you underestimate the C++ programmers.

(1) you can't underestimate C++ programmers. (the snotty version ;)

(2) no, but you can't hire top-notch C++ programmers for projects like
this. top-notch C++ programmers generally develop fundamental stuff like
libraries and interface tools, not applications.

Howard R. Stearns

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
to
Bagheera, the jungle scout wrote:
> ...

> Right now I just want to use lisp because it seems to be the only
> langauge AI books speak (and the one that went left field to write a
> book using C++ didn't learn C++ well enough before they wrote the book).

Ahh, but there is a REASON for that. My view is that good AI authors
could certainly use any programming language, and would certainly learn
well whichever one they choose.

The reason that so many good AI authors choose Lisp is, as I understand
it, because they are interested in expressing concepts, paradigms,
algorithms, etc., in the most natural language (whatever that means) for
the problem at hand. Now, here's the important thing: NEITHER C++ NOR
LISP NOR PROLOG NOR ANY OTHER PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE IS THE MOST NATURAL
LANGUAGE FOR EXPRESSING EVERY APPLICATION. However, only Lisp brings
the whole considerable power of the programming language to bear on the
subproblem of CREATING the most natural language for expressing an
application.

AI authors don't write in Lisp. They write in application-specific
languages that are easily constructed in Lisp and embedded within Lisp.

Your question about seeking a compiler, as opposed to a language
implementation or development environment suggests that there may be an
important subtelty here that is escaping you. When working with C/C++,
the technique for creating an application-specific language involves,
for example, using C/C++, lex, yacc, etc., to create a compiler for the
new application-specific language. One then writes programs in that
language, which may have nothing to do with C or C++. Any experience
with C/C++ may or may not help another person in learning the new
application-specific language because they may be totally unrelated.

By contrast, new languages are easily embedded in a running Lisp by
extending it, not by replacing it. The application runs within the new
language which itself runs within the Lisp system. There is no need to
write a new compiler, IDE, graphics system, debugger, etc., nor any need
to reinvent the standard math, file-system, etc., libraries. (This last
point is subtle, too. In Lisp, all the Lisp library utilities, for
example, operate on tagged data. The application-specific library
doesn't have to do anything special to make the application-specific
data types be tagged to, and they can coexist and be used with functions
in the standard Lisp library.)

For more information about Lisp, including books appropriate to AI,
comparisons with other languages, and listings of available
implementations, see http://www.lisp.org.

Tim Bradshaw

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
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* the jungle scout wrote:

> Linux is not an option. All of our clients use Windows.
> Also, in my group of programmers, only 2 of us knows how
> to program under unix, and then only with Motif libraries (which are
> EXPENSIVE).

They are? Do *any* commercial Unix systems not bundle them now?
Solaris certainly does, HPUX I'm almost sure does, dunno about the
rest really. For Linux there is lesstif which is free and I think is
pretty close to motif by now.

--tim

Rainer Joswig

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
to
In article <7qp4b1$qmi$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, Bagheera, the jungle scout <bagh...@my-deja.com> wrote:

> If I were using pure numerical computations I would use Miranda or ML.
> But I don't do pure numerical computations. I am interested in AI, both
> game based and data mining. Lisp happens to be the most prolific AI
> language, and therefore the easiest to get examples in. If I had my
> way, there would be an equal sampling of AI solutions in C/C++, Pascal,
> Fortran, and other imperative languages as there are in Lisp.

Hey, why don't you go to the comp.lang.prolog folks and leave this
newsgroup alone?

Raymond Toy

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
to
>>>>> "Marco" == Marco Antoniotti <mar...@copernico.parades.rm.cnr.it> writes:

Marco> Why not CL based numerical computations. You get almost the same
Marco> speed as C with CL (and with C you almost get the same speed as
Marco> FORTRAN).

This is not always true (same speed as C with CL), as was demonstrated
here a few weeks ago. The DCT code was significantly slower (50% or
more? I don't remember) in Lisp than C, even when both versions had
the same algorithm.

Also, has C finally caught up with Fortran? I thought the aliasing
issues in C prevents C compilers from making the same optimizations
Fortran compilers could do because the language specifies that
aliasing doesn't happen.

Ray


Bulent Murtezaoglu

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
to

[...]
BTJ> back to my point...what free environments (unice doesn't
BTJ> count), and especially, what good books.

Check out the free trial versions from Harlequin and Franz. For books,
a comprehensive list is at

http://www.elwoodcorp.com/alu/table/books.htm


I would recoomed Graham's "ANSI Common Lisp" and "On Lisp" (probably
in that sequence) and Norvig's "Paradaigms in AI ..." These are the
ones I have and like.

At some point Tanimoto had an AI textbook that [I believe] came with a Lisp
interpreter. If it is still in print, you might want to check it out
also. I should warn you, though, that the copy I am familiar with
came with a dynamic scoping mini-Lisp.

Also check out SICP (Sructure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
by Abelson & Sussman). This book uses Scheme. It is the best inroductory
book I know of. You might want to first check the comments at amazon.com
on this book and see which bunch (lovers and haters of the book) you
identify yourself with.

cheers,

BM


Friedrich Dominicus

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
to
Erik Naggum wrote:
>
> * Friedrich Dominicus
> | This is an opinion and not a fact I guess.
>
> not just opinion, but the evidence is anecdotal, not fundamental.
^^^^^^^^^

That means to me. Hey I don't have numbers I just tell you some stories.
That's an opinion so much said.

>

the
> reason it doesn't sound unreasonable to me, and in fact sounds reasonable
> is that when you need, say, 5 times as many programmers to handle the
> amount of work necessary, you get interaction costs and team overhead
> that slows everybody down to a quarter of their top speed alone. but you
> can hardly _do_ C++ work alone, except for fairly small things, like
> three to six months.

<irony>
So C++ is better suited for cooperative work. Now I understand why e.g
KDE is written using C++ an not Common Lisp. You just can code CL alone
;-) And fair enougth that desktop has found it's place on a lot of
computers. I don't have heard or seen one of this things for CL. All
that lead to the conclusion, that you can't use CL for that.
</irony>


So this is a conclusion from your mail. Do programming on you own with
Common Lisp but if you want to work with other uses C++. (that is
ancecdotal evidence)


>
> | And maybe you underestimate the C++ programmers.
>
> (1) you can't underestimate C++ programmers. (the snotty version ;)

and of cours you can't overestimate Common Lisp programmers. They are
per defintion supirior to all other crap which is around. ;-).

Interesing enought the crap buils stuff which is used for many and the
all-so supierour Lispers ...

Grining
Friedrich

Friedrich Dominicus

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
to
>
> back to my point...what free environments (unice doesn't count), and
> especially, what good books. Of the 8 books I've read...they're all
> crap. C++ has many more gurus capable of writing (as far as I can
> tell). Are they any books on par with C++ Primer Plus (Mitchel Waite
> Signature Series)? That is agreed by MANY c++ programmers to be the
> BEST introductory manual on the language.

You can download trial version from any Common Lisp vendor. And if you
use Linux you even can get free versions. Of course if you want to buy
them you can, just they are really expensive even in contrast to Eiffel
Compilers which used to be quite expensive.

Others have pointed out that even high prices form tools are far
outwaged by payment for programmers. So for learning I guess a free
triela version is quite ok and if you think that suits your needs you
can look further.

Regards
Friedrich

Erik Naggum

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
to
* Friedrich Dominicus

| So this is a conclusion from your mail. Do programming on you own with
| Common Lisp but if you want to work with other uses C++.

you aren't this stupid, are you? nobody wants to hire more people than
necessary, but they have to if they hire C++ programmers, because one guy
can't cut it. one guy often can get it done in Common Lisp. this is
supposed to be an advantage. I didn't say anything at all about what the
programmer wants, but I see that you don't need to base your conclusions
about what other people say on anything they have actually _said_, so you
won't understand that I have contradicted you _before_ you concluded what
you did, and you won't understand that I do now. end of discussion.

| Interesing enought the crap buils stuff which is used for many and the
| all-so supierour Lispers ...

only people with serious inferiorioty complexes think others are "all so
superior" just because they are better than them at something and aren't
afraid to say so (but neither do they do so without cause). good people
enjoy the competence of others. you obviously don't.

| Grining
| Friedrich

it's "grinning", you moron, and it fits you very well to misspell it, too.

Friedrich Dominicus

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
to

Erik Naggum schrieb:


>
> * Friedrich Dominicus
> | So this is a conclusion from your mail. Do programming on you own with
> | Common Lisp but if you want to work with other uses C++.
>
> you aren't this stupid, are you? nobody wants to hire more people than
> necessary, but they have to if they hire C++ programmers, because one guy
> can't cut it. one guy often can get it done in Common Lisp.

This is what you we're talking about and you drop just some anecdotes
here I try to persiflage but you didn't get it. So I won't try that
again.

>this is
> supposed to be an advantage. I didn't say anything at all about what the
> programmer wants, but I see that you don't need to base your conclusions
> about what other people say on anything they have actually _said_, so you
> won't understand that I have contradicted you _before_ you concluded what
> you did, and you won't understand that I do now. end of discussion.
>
> | Interesing enought the crap buils stuff which is used for many and the
> | all-so supierour Lispers ...
>
> only people with serious inferiorioty complexes think others are "all so
> superior" just because they are better than them at something and aren't
> afraid to say so (but neither do they do so without cause). good people
> enjoy the competence of others. you obviously don't.

I do, if you would read some messages from me you should be able to
recognize that. I just can't stand the attitude that all others are
idiots and my impression is that that is your opinion toward anyone who
uses C++. But I won't start flaming just because others have other
opinions and that's what I wrote you just drop in your opinion and it
seems to me that you have problems with anyone who's not using CL. But
you just tell stories. I just asked for reports on comparisons between
different languages. That's all.

>
> | Grining
> | Friedrich
>
> it's "grinning", you moron, and it fits you very well to misspell it, too.

What is a moron and what does misspelling have to do with a discussion.
I was just smiling at myself about that arrogance towards C++
programmers. But I guess I really do not want to know what a moron is.
You mail is very unpleasant to read and you just drop in opinions and
claims that they are true because you know. I do think that is poor
style.

So either you calm down and really answer questions or flag your
comments as anecdotal but not as a fact which they aren't.

Grinning even move brightly
Friedrich

Friedrich Dominicus

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
to

>
> it's "grinning", you moron, and it fits you very well to misspell it, too.

I now know what moron means, better I hadn't asked. Interesingly enought
you intelligence seems not brigh enough to recognice irony is. And is
shows how arrogant you are.

So I would suggest you read some mails from me than you might get such
things right.

Till then
Friedrich

Marco Antoniotti

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
to

Bagheera, the jungle scout <bagh...@my-deja.com> writes:

> In article <lwzoz43...@copernico.parades.rm.cnr.it>,
> Marco Antoniotti <mar...@copernico.parades.rm.cnr.it> wrote:
> > Lesstif "expensive"?
>
> Lesstif is not a full implementation of Motif, and it is NOT
> "supported".
>
> > > > I would be really interested to see how you managed to do this in
> a
> > > > general and systematic way in C++. Really interested.
> > >
> > > If it wouldn't violate my NDA, I would happily explain it to you.
> >
> > I have the hunch that you cannot really explain it because.... you
> > can't do it in C++ :)
>
> *sigh*
> I'll give you a hint. It uses RTTI, template classes, function
> overloading and inheritance.

Exactly my point. You cannot do it in C++ without (a) a considerable
programming investment (i.e. you must shell out a lot of money) and
(b) not in a general enough way (where "general enough way" is defined
to be the CLOS way).

> > > I happen to be very comfortable with pointers, and
> > > know extremely useful things you can do with them.
> >
> > Yeah! You can write Common Lisp environments :)
>
> if I had to I suppose, but you can do alot more than that.
> especially high end optimizations like poking the system
> memory and things like that.

Whenever I hear the words "poking the system memory" I reach for my
garbage collector. :)

> > > They happen to be a tool, and if you know how to use
> > > your tools to their full potential, they are useful
> > > tools.
> >
> > Good point. Learn CL using one of the free environments and good
> > books around and then appreciate the "full potential".
>

> back to my point...what free environments (unice doesn't count), and
> especially, what good books. Of the 8 books I've read...they're all
> crap. C++ has many more gurus capable of writing (as far as I can
> tell). Are they any books on par with C++ Primer Plus (Mitchel Waite
> Signature Series)? That is agreed by MANY c++ programmers to be the
> BEST introductory manual on the language.

You are sorely right on this point. Apart from Graham's books and
Abelson and Sussman's SICP (which uses Scheme) I believe there are not
very many good and useful books around about CL.

Isn't KMP coming up with one? :)

> > > conjecture.
> > > I'm already mildly familiar with Lisp, I had two classes on it
> > > in College, I just want to learn it better so that I can learn
> > > Lisp based AI.
> >

> > Why not CL based numerical computations. You get almost the same

> > speed as C with CL (and with C you almost get the same speed as

> > FORTRAN).


>
> If I were using pure numerical computations I would use Miranda or
> ML.

What a strange twist of events!

> But I don't do pure numerical computations. I am interested in AI, both
> game based and data mining. Lisp happens to be the most prolific AI
> language, and therefore the easiest to get examples in. If I had my
> way, there would be an equal sampling of AI solutions in C/C++, Pascal,
> Fortran, and other imperative languages as there are in Lisp.

Which BTW, is also "The Ultimate Imperative" language. :)

Cheers

> Bagherra <jaebear @ frenzy.com>
> http://www.frenzy.com/~jaebear
> "There's a snake in my boot!"
>
>
> Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
> Share what you know. Learn what you don't.

--

Marco Antoniotti

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
to

Raymond Toy <t...@rtp.ericsson.se> writes:

> >>>>> "Marco" == Marco Antoniotti <mar...@copernico.parades.rm.cnr.it> writes:
>
> Marco> Why not CL based numerical computations. You get almost the same
> Marco> speed as C with CL (and with C you almost get the same speed as
> Marco> FORTRAN).
>
> This is not always true (same speed as C with CL), as was demonstrated
> here a few weeks ago. The DCT code was significantly slower (50% or
> more? I don't remember) in Lisp than C, even when both versions had
> the same algorithm.

I said *almost*. As per the DCT example, I believe that pointed out
two things, w.r.t. the implementations used. (1) transforming the
computations into 1-dimension for CMUCL did not help as much as you
would have expected, and (2) CMUCL does not seem to do as much
peep-hole optimization on the produced assembly code as GCC does.

All in all this are not "language inherent" problems. I suppose you
could expect an improvement for CL if many more programmers were
working at it. I.e. it is a matter of "scale" and invesment. I would
venture out to say that it is reasonable to think that CL compilers
have fallen behind C/C++ compiler technology in recent years,
w.r.t. the situation of, let's say, 10 years ago. Of course I have no
real data to support my case. It is just a hunch.

Cheers

Rainer Joswig

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
to

> You are sorely right on this point. Apart from Graham's books and
> Abelson and Sussman's SICP (which uses Scheme) I believe there are not
> very many good and useful books around about CL.

PAIP
Lisp, 3rd Edition
Genera manuals ;-)

Paolo Amoroso

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
to
On Fri, 03 Sep 1999 12:40:52 GMT, Bagheera, the jungle scout
<bagh...@my-deja.com> wrote:

> If it wouldn't violate my NDA, I would happily explain it to you.

If C++ shops consider multiple dispatch such a competitive advantage that
employees are required to sign NDAs, why are you surprised that Common Lisp
systems, which provide multiple dispatch and many other standard features,
cost so much? :-)


Paolo
--
EncyCMUCLopedia * Extensive collection of CMU Common Lisp documentation
http://cvs2.cons.org:8000/cmucl/doc/EncyCMUCLopedia/

Erik Naggum

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
to
* Friedrich Dominicus <Friedrich...@inka.de>

| I just can't stand the attitude that all others are idiots

none such exists. your willingness to go from "some" to "all" is your
very own logical flaw. I suggest you take responsibility for it.

| and my impression is that that is your opinion toward anyone who uses C++.

your impression is precisely that -- your impression. it is not my
responsibility to correct people who aren't even able to _read_ stuff
they don't agree with.

| But I won't start flaming just because others have other opinions and
| that's what I wrote you just drop in your opinion and it seems to me that
| you have problems with anyone who's not using CL.

it seems that way to you because you don't think, but rather want to fit
things into predetermined prejudices. again, your very own problem.

| Grinning even move brightly

and you speak about _other_ people's attitude problems? geez. but, hey,
I understand why you think in terms of attitude. you're the pro, here.

now, find a mirror and enjoy your grinning, but spare us more of it.

Friedrich Dominicus

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
to
Erik Naggum wrote:
>
> * Friedrich Dominicus <Friedrich...@inka.de>
> | I just can't stand the attitude that all others are idiots
>
> none such exists. your willingness to go from "some" to "all" is your
> very own logical flaw. I suggest you take responsibility for it.

Ok I do that.

After this side-step towards flaming could we forget the last mails and
you just give me an answer on the question which was asked. I said you
don't have numbers and that you put in you opinion. You opinion might be
right or wrong, I believe you are possibly more on the right side. And
yes I do think that Common Lisp is a better choice as C++ ever will and
can be, just for the record: we don't have comparisons and because we
doN't have we just are guessing. That's quite ok but I personally think
that it would be a good idea having some comparisons.

1) Ease of learning (on different levels)
2) Development Effort
3) Maintenance costs
4) Tool support

...

a lot more. You can fill in you favourites.

Now my wild guesses: I think that Common Lisp is a better choice in
point 2 and three I'm not sure about 1. I do think that 4) is found for
C++ other points can be addes and that really would be helpful to see
for different languages. But I see this does not fit the subject of this
thread.

So I suggest you calm down and think about the real question
Regards
Friedrich

Reini Urban

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
to
>Marco Antoniotti <mar...@copernico.parades.rm.cnr.it> wrote:
>> You are sorely right on this point. Apart from Graham's books and
>> Abelson and Sussman's SICP (which uses Scheme) I believe there are not
>> very many good and useful books around about CL.

Rainer Joswig contered:


>PAIP
>Lisp, 3rd Edition
>Genera manuals ;-)

Also strong a NO NO. The typical new lisp books are very good IMHO.

I tried to learn C++ and CL at the same time. Compared to the various
books I read then as beginner I'd say 80% are very good in the lisp
domain and 20% are very good in C++. (very optimistic)
I actually only found Coplien interesting. Reading Stroustrup was a
mess, compared to Kernigan/Ritchie then.

There are even better perl books than C++ books around! :)
~50% good-ness rate but there's less hype and less books.
AutoLISP has 5%, Java 10%.
--
Reini

Friedrich Dominicus

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
to
Reini Urban wrote:
>
> >Marco Antoniotti <mar...@copernico.parades.rm.cnr.it> wrote:
> >> You are sorely right on this point. Apart from Graham's books and
> >> Abelson and Sussman's SICP (which uses Scheme) I believe there are not
> >> very many good and useful books around about CL.
>
> Rainer Joswig contered:
> >PAIP
^^^^^^^ what's that?
> >Lisp, 3rd Edition

> I tried to learn C++ and CL at the same time. Compared to the various
> books I read then as beginner I'd say 80% are very good in the lisp
> domain and 20% are very good in C++. (very optimistic)

Now what books are you talking about?

Guess it would be helpful. And I guess this might be something for the
FAQ

Regards
Friedrich

Rainer Joswig

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
to
In article <37d13d42.10247645@judy>, rur...@sbox.tu-graz.ac.at wrote:

> >Marco Antoniotti <mar...@copernico.parades.rm.cnr.it> wrote:
> >> You are sorely right on this point. Apart from Graham's books and
> >> Abelson and Sussman's SICP (which uses Scheme) I believe there are not
> >> very many good and useful books around about CL.
>
> Rainer Joswig contered:
> >PAIP

> >Lisp, 3rd Edition
> >Genera manuals ;-)
>
> Also strong a NO NO. The typical new lisp books are very good IMHO.

For me books like "Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming"
(from Peter Norvig. Go buy one if you don't have it.) and
"Lisp, 3rd Edition" (Winston/Horn) are among the alltime classics.

But guys, you don't just need to buy them - you need to read them
and work your way through them with one hand to the keyboard
of your favorite Lisp system - and, yes, you don't have
to type the source code - but if you want - go ahead.
Get the Lisp experience of an interactive software
design environment - try out your ideas - don't let
the system constrain you.

If your books are looking worn out, the pages are starting
to fade away, you have traces of chinese food on the pages,
your disk is full of edited versions of the code
and you have rewritten your graphical interfaces
to "blocks world" and "Othello" ten times - than you are on the
right track.

The Lisp books are full of ideas - more than you would
get from a meter of other "modern" books, which you can
read in a few hours (huge print, lot's of white space,
reiteration of the last 20 years everywhere, thick paper,
assembled from other sources, ...) and you can throw in the garbage can
can after you read them. There is a reason these other systems
they describe don't have a real garbage collection
- it would trash them immediately.

David Thornley

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
to
In article <4nvh9rk...@rtp.ericsson.se>,

Raymond Toy <t...@rtp.ericsson.se> wrote:
>>>>>> "Marco" == Marco Antoniotti <mar...@copernico.parades.rm.cnr.it> writes:
>
> Marco> Why not CL based numerical computations. You get almost the same
> Marco> speed as C with CL (and with C you almost get the same speed as
> Marco> FORTRAN).
>
>This is not always true (same speed as C with CL), as was demonstrated
>here a few weeks ago. The DCT code was significantly slower (50% or
>more? I don't remember) in Lisp than C, even when both versions had
>the same algorithm.
>
Unfortunately, these are meaningless statements. Languages don't have
performance (even the STL has only O() performance requirements),
implementations do. The case I remember of CL beating Fortran was
CMUCL. I really, really doubt Macintosh Common Lisp will; it doesn't
handle floats quite as well.

>Also, has C finally caught up with Fortran? I thought the aliasing
>issues in C prevents C compilers from making the same optimizations
>Fortran compilers could do because the language specifies that
>aliasing doesn't happen.
>

This is being addressed in the C9X standard, which will also introduce
numerous other things that will probably make C9X code slower again
(unless you're careful). I think the C community would be better off
if the C9X process was violently aborted, but to be honest there are
some C experts (including people on the Committee) who disagree.

--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
da...@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-

Rainer Joswig

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
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> 1) Ease of learning (on different levels)

With the right approach CL is much easier to learn.

> 2) Development Effort

Easy win for the Lisp side.

> 3) Maintenance costs

***Big*** win for the Lisp side.

> 4) Tool support

Depends. Lisp has tool building as one of
its fundamental paradigms. Many tools you
can write on your own in little time.
Real Lisp users are not afraid to do this.
Others are different to get - for example
interfaces to certain (proprietary) protoc

Rainer Joswig

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
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> After this side-step towards flaming could we forget the last mails and
> you just give me an answer on the question which was asked. I said you
> don't have numbers and that you put in you opinion. You opinion might be
> right or wrong, I believe you are possibly more on the right side. And
> yes I do think that Common Lisp is a better choice as C++ ever will and
> can be, just for the record:

It's difficult to get numbers for that. Smalltalk and
Lisp are roughly comparable for a lot of projects - while
Lisp is more expressive and used for a lot more
experimental stuff. Smalltalk projects are sometimes
more conventional OO-projects - just read the various
job ads for Smalltalk.

AT&T/Lucent is/was doing ATM switch projects. They
have systems with software written in C and C++. Usually
these products have a staff of, say, 1000 people.
At any one time only a part of the source code
is understood (people moving in and out).
As a a research project they were developing
a system in Lisp and a production version in
C++. The Lisp project had all in all around, say,
(can't remember the exact numbers) hundred people.

The claim was that after years of development the Lisp-based
project was more functional (on-the-fly updating of software
with zero-downtime was a goal), had comparable performance
and needed much less resources (time, developers, money, ...).
Still it was hard to convince management to make products
based on it (which finally happened). I hear
numbers like *seven* times productivity increase in such
large projects. If you get these results - would you
tell your competition?

Also anecdotical evidence shows that single developers
(the mythical "Lisp hacker") or small teams can
get extremely productive creating complex applications.
I know a few people who are on this wizard level
and it is a worthwile goal to have those girls and boys
in a company and let them be productive and have fun. They often
are choosing Lisp as their tool, because Lisp works
like an *amplifier* for them.

Rainer Joswig

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
to
In article <37D14613...@inka.de>, Friedrich...@inka.de wrote:

> Reini Urban wrote:
> >
> > >Marco Antoniotti <mar...@copernico.parades.rm.cnr.it> wrote:
> > >> You are sorely right on this point. Apart from Graham's books and
> > >> Abelson and Sussman's SICP (which uses Scheme) I believe there are not
> > >> very many good and useful books around about CL.
> >
> > Rainer Joswig contered:
> > >PAIP

> ^^^^^^^ what's that?

http://www.norvig.com/paip.html

> > >Lisp, 3rd Edition

http://www.ascent.com/books/#Lisp

By the way, what language is Ascent using to write
their software for airport gate management? ;-)
http://www.ascent.com/airports.htm

William Tanksley

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
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On Sat, 04 Sep 1999 18:37:45 +0200, Rainer Joswig wrote:
>In article <37D13FA0...@inka.de>, Friedrich...@inka.de wrote:

>> 1) Ease of learning (on different levels)

>With the right approach CL is much easier to learn.

As a person who JUST learned Lisp and had just previously learned C++
after having used it for a while, I have to agree with you. Lisp has the
fundamental advantage of being simple as a language, and its library is no
harder to learn than C's.

--
-William "Billy" Tanksley

Craig Brozefsky

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
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jos...@lavielle.com (Rainer Joswig) writes:

> > 2) Development Effort
>
> Easy win for the Lisp side.

Totally true, but newcomers may not experience this unless they allow
themselves to work in a diffrent way than they may be used too.
First, you might need to change your editor, to one which supports
lisp indenting and paren matching, and hopefully a Lisp listener.
Emacs is the obvious choice. I luv emacs and ILISP, the tab
completion, the form evaluation and compiling, the debugging, all come
together to make develoment much easier.

Humor me for a second with my rough distinction between programming
and coding. I see programming as the act of abstracting, designing,
pondering, trying things, and "writing" things. I see coding as the
work of putting this into machine understandable form, syntax checks,
remembering variable and function names, typing the stuff in, editing
source code. The split is an inuitive one, not a strong, factual
one. I hate coding, it's mind-numbing and is the number one force of
friction for me when developing. Lisp systems, with real interfaces
like emacs and ILISP (and the others that vendors provide) make coding
a much easier task, and greatly reduce the amount of friction I need
to overcome in order to encode an idea into a system.

I see several things contributing to the Lisp systems ability to
reduce coding friction. Interactive development is the biggest one,
and it really pays off if you take a functional approach to your
design. At any point you can test a fragment code, no recompile, no
big testing harness needed, no test proggies. This alone prolly gives
me a two-fold performance increase, and that's a modest estimate.

The simple syntax and editor support for it is another one. Fewer
syntax errors and less complex editing (once you learn sexpr-based
movement and editing in emacs) result in more productivity for me.

Symbol completion, integrated documentation and help mean that I don't
have to switch to another application to read the help, and don't have
to navigate some hypertext document with the accursed mouse. Looking
up a functions documentation or arglist is trivial and almost a
reflex. Less errors from guessing and less time wasted hunting for
docs. The result is even more increased productivity.

There are a dozen other advatnages to Lisp itself, but I wanted to
just focus on the advatanges of the developm3ent environments that
come with it. We can talk about the power of macros, the fullness of
the language and other things later, a newcomer is not going to be
able to experience those too deeply at first.

> > 4) Tool support
>
> Depends. Lisp has tool building as one of
> its fundamental paradigms. Many tools you
> can write on your own in little time.
> Real Lisp users are not afraid to do this.
> Others are different to get - for example
> interfaces to certain (proprietary) protoc

I've been experiencing this first hand over the last few days. The
friction one must overcome to put a new tool into play is greatly
reduced when working with Lisp.


--
Craig Brozefsky <cr...@red-bean.com>
Free Scheme/Lisp Software http://www.red-bean.com/~craig
"riot shields. voodoo economics. its just business. cattle
prods and the IMF." - Radiohead, OK Computer, Electioneering

Rainer Joswig

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99