Lisp, Java, and C++

Paul Prescod
Tue, 27 May 1997 07:29:17 -0400

Scott L. Burson wrote:
> I think Java is *much* closer to Lisp than to C++.  Don't be misled by the
> strong typing.  The variable binding model is that of Lisp (in particular,
> pointers are hidden from the programmer); it's safe; it's GCed.  Because of
> the strong typing, polymorphism is more restricted than in Lisp, but it's
> entirely adequate for writing real programs.

Note also that meta-information about classes is available at runtime,
as in dynamic languages. It also has lexically scoped anonymous classes
that are very like closures. Java has learned a lot from Lisp, probably
via Guy Steele. I think that Java is a Very Good Thing for the Lisp
community: by popularizing the features that supposedly make Lisp slow,
it destroys one of the primary (though bogus) arguments against Lisp.

 Paul Prescod