Lisp Apostrophe Quote 'f Came From MacLisp
ok, the major damage to lisp's syntax regularity, the lisp apostrophe for quote e.g.
'(a b c) , came from MacLisp.
Maclisp is a descendant of Lisp 1.5. Maclisp departs from Lisp 1.5 by using a “value cell” to access and store the dynamic values of variables; Lisp 1.5 used a linear search of an association list to determine a variable's value. The Maclisp variable evaluation is faster but has different variable semantics.
Maclisp also employed reader macros to make more readable input and output. Instead of entering
(QUOTE A), one could enter
'Ato get the same s-expression. Although both implementations put functions on the property list, Maclisp uses different syntax to define functions. Maclisp also has a load-on-demand feature.
[from Wikipedia Maclisp]
lisp macros, the bane of all wrong in lisp.
it all began, in the name of convenience.
[see Programing Language Design: Syntax Sugar Problem: Irregularity vs Convenience]
and so, perhaps, convenience is the mother of all design failure.
- Fundamental Problems of Lisp
- On Constructed Languages, Computer Languages, and Their Grammar Complexity
- Formal Definition of Systematic Grammar
- Intro to Wolfram Language Pattern Matching for Lisp Programers
- Lisp Macros and Practical Common Lisp
- Can Lisp Macro Change Lisp Syntax?
and then, predictions and hindsight:
postscript: actually, honestly, i don't fully understand lisp reader macro. That is, the ontology of it. [see What's Ontology of Programing Language?]
- Lisp Celebrities and Computing History from “Worse Is Better”
- Paul Graham's Infatuation with the Concept of Hacker
- Why Lisp Do Not Have A Generic Copy-List Function
- Programing Language: A Ruby Illustration of Lisp Problems
- Language, Purity, Cult, and Deception
- Programing: LISP is Not Functional!
- Emacs Lisp: read-from-minibuffer Propels Deep Questions