Lisp Apostrophe Quote 'f Came From MacLisp

By Xah Lee. Date: .

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.[3] Maclisp departs from Lisp 1.5 by using a “value cell” to access and store the dynamic values of variables;[4] Lisp 1.5 used a linear search of an association list to determine a variable's value.[5] 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 'A to get the same s-expression. Although both implementations put functions on the property list, Maclisp uses different syntax to define functions.[6] Maclisp also has a load-on-demand feature.[7]

[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.

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?]

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