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Date: 2005-02-14 (01:11)
From: Michael Walter <>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] The boon of static type checking
On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 01:42:11 +0100 (CET), Thomas Fischbacher
<> wrote:
> On Sun, 13 Feb 2005, Michael Walter wrote:
> > > You can just as well put another REPL at the top. MAXIMA is an example of
> > > just one system that does precisely that.
> >
> > Exactly! That's creating a new language.
> Ok, then if you see it that way: the major difference then is that you do
> not have to go through the daunting process of implementing all of the
> runtime system so that it is (1) fast, (2) bugfree, (3) sufficiently
> complete to be useful. Furthermore, you gain the ability to use
> already existing libraries.

This applies to C, as well.

> > > [...]
> > > So, again, syntax is not by itself an essential feature of the language.
> > I rate the "human factor" important enough to consider it as an
> > essential feature for programming languages meant to be used by
> > humans.
> Well, yes, but this can be studied to great extent without the drawbacks
> of creating incompatibility boundaries, see above.

Yeah, for instance by compiling to C :) This is for instance the path
chosen by GHC (although they are switching over to a C-- backend).

> > Of course, if you decide to use S-expressions primarily as a compiler
> > target that's an entirely different issue (to bad that this path
> > hasn't been explored that much, besides maybe Dylan).
> That's how it's supposed to be.
But that is not what it *is* like in > 95% of "the Lisp world". See my
last mail - the typical Lisper seldomly/never "escapes" S expressions,
and I strongly believe this is not because S expressions are the
"best" syntax.