[opensource] Dear Everyone - Take Lisp

Lee Ayres ayres at acm.org
Sat Mar 24 17:50:11 EDT 2007

I took lisp with Matt in my senior year.  In the N years since, I have
developed production code in Common Lisp, Java, C#, Python, Perl, and
others, and mucked around in a dozen more languages for the heck of
it.  Every new language expands my horizons (yes, even C#) though none
has had a stronger influence on my approach to problem solving than
the lisp family of languages. Often, even when I am producing an
application in one of the lower languages, I will still mock the
complicated bits of it up in lisp or scheme so that I can concentrate
on solving the problem at hand away from the shortcomings and
idiosyncrasies of the final implementation language.

I will warn you however; lisp is a double edged sword. While I have
been more proficient in other languages as a result of learning Lisp,
I have been correspondingly less satisfied with the code I have
developed in them.  Lisp is like great wine; once you learn to
appreciate it you lose your stomach for the supermarket brands.  But
don't ever let that stop you from trying the Côte de Nuits.

As a quick aside and with a nod in Mark Carroll's direction, Haskel is
pretty bitchin' too.

On 3/23/07, Ross Litscher <rlitscher at speakeasy.net> wrote:
> paul c betts wrote:
> >It's Spring quarter again and that means that Matt Curtin is again
> >teaching the 2nd best CSE course that exists, 459.31, Programming Lisp.
> >
> >Other than 560, this is by far the only course at OSU in which you will
> >receive the most amount of awesome from; I would be taking it for the 2nd
> >time if it didn't conflict with my ethics class. Lisp is a functional
> >language that involves lots of parenthesis. And butt-kicking (censored for
> >the children).
> >
> >I'm currently debating if it is unethical to skip the ethics class and
> >show up to this one instead. Thoughts can be posted to this thread.
> >
> >
> >
> I concur. I didn't take this course while at OSU, but I should have.
> Currently I'm dabbling in Lisp with the cl-opengl bindings as a hobby
> when I get home from my daily job, and reading PAIP
> (http://norvig.com/paip.html) on my subway commute. I took a small
> beating from Baumgartner's 655(?) course where we had to implement some
> of Lisp (and I had no idea what was going on really). Since then I've
> decided I should learn Lisp on my own.
> Any idea what the course book is for Curtin's class, or is it just all
> his personal notes?

Lee Ayres <ayres at interhack.net>

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