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Thread: Lisp

  1. #1

    Default Lisp

    Hello
    I have tried to scratch the surface of Lisp. It seems to me that Lisp is a
    nice experience. Paul Graham has written extensively on its productivity
    and that motivated me to give it a shot. Now I use C. I have used Java
    which is productive but at the cost of performance and I find that if I am
    careful (and with practice) C feels really nice with its performance at
    power over Java. What I want to know is that can I get performance with
    Lisp as it is already productive due to the bottom-up scheme. Also C is
    well suited for low level programming. How well is Lisp suited for it?
    Please feel free to share your experiences to guide me.

    Thank you.

    (Note: I am OK with the parentheses.)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Lisp

    On Thu, 2008-09-11 at 20:23 +0000, Cross_AM wrote:
    > Hello
    > I have tried to scratch the surface of Lisp. It seems to me that Lisp is a
    > nice experience. Paul Graham has written extensively on its productivity
    > and that motivated me to give it a shot. Now I use C. I have used Java
    > which is productive but at the cost of performance and I find that if I am
    > careful (and with practice) C feels really nice with its performance at
    > power over Java. What I want to know is that can I get performance with
    > Lisp as it is already productive due to the bottom-up scheme. Also C is
    > well suited for low level programming. How well is Lisp suited for it?
    > Please feel free to share your experiences to guide me.
    >
    > Thank you.
    >
    > (Note: I am OK with the parentheses.)


    The beauty is probably in the interpretive nature of LISP.

    I mean you can program in a very functional oriented paradigm using
    C or whatever.

    But LISP makes no distinction between data and code... so you
    do some pretty nice things that would be more difficult to do
    with other languages.

    I like LISP... but I don't have a practical need for it
    right now. You can imagine how easy it would be to create
    a parallel machine using LISP. It may not perform as fast
    as another language, but it makes writing programs easier
    (if you can master its ways).

    You're not going to easily manipulate bits and bytes
    with LISP (scheme).

    In general is a funtcional, interpretive, high level language.



  3. #3

    Default Re: Lisp

    cjcox wrote:

    > You can imagine how easy it would be to create
    > a parallel machine using LISP.

    Well with multi-core processors, may be Lisp can be more useful in present
    context. (just my opinion)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Lisp

    On Thu, 2008-09-11 at 22:43 +0000, Cross_AM wrote:
    > cjcox wrote:
    >
    > > You can imagine how easy it would be to create
    > > a parallel machine using LISP.

    > Well with multi-core processors, may be Lisp can be more useful in present
    > context. (just my opinion)


    Hmmm... not nearly as "neato". With lisp you can shuttle
    data (i.e. programs) as streams for execution across disparate
    platforms on a network.



  5. #5
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    Default Re: Lisp

    Quote Originally Posted by cjcox View Post
    You're not going to easily manipulate bits and bytes
    with LISP (scheme).
    On interesting example is SBCL's implementation. Its has a minimal number of C files (to connect with the operating system in matters like threads, sockets, etc) [Ohloh, CVS]. Check this file to see how the primitive arithmetic operations are defined. I find it very interesting

    Nevertheless I agree that Common Lisp was meant for a more higher level used although it was already design with performance in mind. Scheme is even harder to optimize due to it's academic/research/less pragmatical nature.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Lisp

    m4ktub wrote:

    >
    > cjcox;1870128 Wrote:
    >>
    >> You're not going to easily manipulate bits and bytes
    >> with LISP (scheme).
    >>

    >
    > On interesting example is SBCL's implementation. Its has a minimal
    > number of C files (to connect with the operating system in matters like
    > threads, sockets, etc) ['Ohloh'
    > (http://www.ohloh.net/projects/sbcl/analyses/latest), 'CVS'
    > (http://sbcl.cvs.sourceforge.net/sbcl...src/runtime/)]. Check 'this
    > file' (http://tinyurl.com/4m63n7) to see how the primitive arithmetic
    > operations are defined. I find it very interesting
    >
    > Nevertheless I agree that Common Lisp was meant for a more higher level
    > used although it was already design with performance in mind. Scheme is
    > even harder to optimize due to it's academic/research/less pragmatical
    > nature.
    >
    >

    Thanks for your input. They are going to be quite useful.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Lisp

    m4ktub wrote:

    > (http://www.ohloh.net/projects/sbcl/analyses/latest), 'CVS'
    > (http://sbcl.cvs.sourceforge.net/sbcl...src/runtime/)]. Check 'this
    > file' (http://tinyurl.com/4m63n7) to see how the primitive arithmetic
    > operations are defined. I find it very interesting

    I found that Lisp can call assembly instructions much like C. Could you tell
    me where to find more about that? Please suggest good books on Lisp as
    well.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Lisp

    Quote Originally Posted by Cross_AM View Post
    I found that Lisp can call assembly instructions much like C. Could you tell
    me where to find more about that? Please suggest good books on Lisp as
    well.
    What I know is that low level feature is not part of the CL specification and therefore each implementation may have different takes on it or none at all. You can always rely on the foreign function interface which is present in most implementations (CFFI). That allows you to delegate anything to C and therefore almost bend metal within Common Lisp

    About calling assembly instructions, I've only red about SBCL's VOPs. Now that I look at it again it may have just what you want (check this). Don't know anything about support for that in other implementations. Corman Lisp looks like a promising implementations but don't know much about it.

    About books. I've never worked professional with any Lisp. My introduction to the family was with SICP of the Sussmans. Apart from that I've essentially red the HyperSpec and online books like Pratical Common Lisp.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Lisp

    m4ktub wrote:

    > About books. I've never worked professional with any Lisp. My
    > introduction to the family was with 'SICP'
    > (http://mitpress.mit.edu/sicp/) of the Sussmans. Apart from that I've
    > essentially red the HyperSpec and online books like Pratical Common
    > Lisp.
    >

    I also started with this book by Sussmans, then by porting Scheme to CL.

    Gradually, I am feeling that C has a monopoly in low level programming. Is
    there any other language that allows this so much, left aside FORTRAN, as
    it for purely mathematical purposes?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Lisp

    Well, I've heard of the D programming language. If I recall it correctly, they put it in the "systems programming" category so it must have much of what the C language has in terms of low language constructs. But there are many other programming languages. Maybe some programming language lists could help you better after you find out how popular each language really is.

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