Books of Note

Practical Common
LispThe best intro to start your journey. Excellent coverage of CLOS.

ANSI Common
LispAnother great starting point with a different focus.

Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence
ProgrammingA superb set of Lisp examples. Not just for the AI crowd.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Dynamic Languages Wizards 

While lurking on IRC yesterday, I noticed somebody mention a link for a set of videos hosted at MIT. These were panel discussions done for the dynamic languages class there. The set of three videos was filmed in the spring of 2001 and features the who's who of dynamic language design, including many people involved with Scheme, Lisp, and Dylan. I recommend watching each of the various videos, which can be a time sink as they are each about 1.5 to 2 hours long. In particular, resist the urge to move straight to the Language Design panel that includes Guy Steele, Jonathan Rees, Paul Graham, and John Maeda. There are some huge nuggets in the panels on Runtime and Compilation.

That said, funny quote of the whole series is in the Q&A of the Language Design panel. A questioner asks the panel whether they see something beyond expressing programs in simple ASCII. Rees asks whether the questioner means something like Unicode, to which the questioner responds with something to the effect of, "Yes, and other things too." Steele starts talking and says that he really doesn't have much need beyond the Latin 1 character set and maybe some of the mathematical portions of Unicode. He says, in particular, that he doesn't feel a need for Croatian characters to be there, but maybe somebody in Croatia might. At that point, Graham pipes up, with, "Maybe in the next version of Perl. Think of all the additional characters you'll have..."

Other things which struck me from these:

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