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.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Meeting Richard Stallman 

I had the nice opportunity to speak at the Pacific Free and Open Source Software Convention (PFOSSCON 2007) in Honolulu, Hawai'i, last weekend. This was done as part of my job at Vyatta. While I managed to acquire a cold after coming home, earlier this week, the conference was great. Kudos to Scott Belford, Jim Thompson, and Julian Yap for putting everything together.

Along with me speaking, the infamous Richard Stallman, Free Software Foundation, and Barton George, Sun Microsystems, spoke as well.

The summary is that after meeting Stallman, I wasn't very impressed. I have been reading his writings, such as the GNU Manifesto, since the mid-1980s. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I didn't get it. My reaction to both the man and the message fall into a few broad categories. I think I'll blog in more detail about these things in the future sometime, but here are the broad reactions:

Well, that's all for now. In spite of my disagreement with Richard, I bought a copy of Free Software, Free Society from him and had him autograph it.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

D: By Jove, they almost have it! 

When I first saw C++ back in the mid-1980s, it looked pretty interesting. Then it started to grow into a horrible monster. I was just reading about the D programming language today. All I can say is, "Wow!" I wish they had this way back when. This would seem to correct most of what I find distasteful about C, C++, and Java, while keeping most of the things I like--to the point where I would actually consider using it for certain projects.

The things I hate most about those programming languages are:




In short, D looks interesting. Is it Lisp and would I go back to using D as my main programming language? No. It still doesn't have macros the way Lisp does and it doesn't have sexprs (yes, I really do like the parenthesis), but it is a better follow-on to C than C++ and still hits the system-programming domain that Java missed so bady. It seems like something to keep in one's hip pocket.

Hello 2007 

Welcome to a new year. I have been swamped the past six months with work and family. I'm still getting a bit of time to work on Lisp-related stuff, but not nearly as much as I'd like.

The biggest casualty has been blogging. I just haven't had much time to sit down and compose something cogent. Back in October, Xach added the sparklines display to Planet Lisp. My first thought regarding my own sparkline was "Yikes! I've seen people at the morgue with better EEGs than that!" Hopefully, Xach won't de-list me.

So, to kick off a new year, here's a post to make my sparkline wiggle a bit.

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