Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Latest 'Crossing Borders' is about Lisp

At IBM's Java page, Bruce Tate writes articles about other languages and the features that they have that other languages don't. His latest is on Lisp. The usual intro stuff, but he could have spent a little more time on macros; his example is
(defmacro times_two (x) (* 2 x))
With not much more he could have shown an actual language extension. Hey Bruce, would a 'while' have killed you?


The author copied the macro example verbatim from the "Lisp Primer" resource at


This example demonstrates nothing related to macros and in fact violates the philosophy that if a macro can be defined as a function, it should be. A very poor example indeed.

The author should have performed a better literature search before trying to introduce lisp to the Java community.
My god. That was the worst overview of Lisp I've ever seen. I'm not sure what was worse, the indentation or the macro example.
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