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Date: 2005-02-13 (22:51)
From: Michael Walter <>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] The boon of static type checking
On Sun, 13 Feb 2005 22:42:29 +0100 (CET), Thomas Fischbacher
<> wrote:
> On Sun, 13 Feb 2005, Michael Walter wrote:
> > Your argument regarding Lisp and O'caml ignores the fact that
> > programming languages are to a large part about syntax - for obviously
> > valid reasons like accessability, maintainability, expressiveness,
> > etc.
> >
> > I feel I've mentioned that so many times it should be in some FAQ ;o)
> With a parser generator (take zebu, for example) and, say,
> SET-DISPATCH-MACRO-CHARACTER, I just as well can give you any syntax you
> want on top of lisp. But I think you understand if I don't post code
> that explicitly demonstrates how to do that now.

This has obvious restrictrions in Common Lisp (you even mentioned one
of them in UPPERCASE-LETTERS :). The fact that few people actually
extend the syntax of CL beyond mere S-expressions also indicates that
(the usual counter goes like "we are happy with S-expressions", which
I believe is not the entire story :). [1]

I can imagine, though, that there might eventually be a language (or
environment), which gets rid of some of those restrictions, which is
one of the reasons why I've a.. more open attitude to new programming
languages and environments :) [2,3]


[1] It works great for embedding XML into CL, though :-)
[2] e.g. Logix, see
[3] e.g. IP, see google &