some more about Re: Why not LISP (was: HLL and misa)

Rainer Blome
Tue, 20 Jun 1995 20:06:12 +0200

this thread is too tedious to follow, i give up.
just too many quotes, no ligne claire.  please keep quotes minimal,
otherwise i won't read your message or even quit the list.

you all have to settle on unique definitions of the terms you use in your
discussion.  i associate two meanings with the term `s-expression':

1. any syntactic expression parseable by a lisp reader.  that includes the
   textual representation of all lisp types, not just lists.  the sexpr
   will be parsed into an object in the lisp memory.  if the expression
   denotes a list, this could be a cons but doesn't have to be (it might be
   a vector, for example), depending on the reader.

2. an object in lisp memory, representing a list of expressions
   (represented by objects in memory), that might
   be used as an argument to the evauator.  this could be a cons but
   doesn't have to be, depending on the evaluator.

stating that i don't know where the term sexpression comes from, or if
there is an official definition, i propose you use the term `syntactic
expression' when you refer to string representations and `expression in
memory' (or just `expression' for short) for the other ones.