Philosophical musings: interpreting models

Laurent Martelli
15 Sep 1999 11:40:36 +0200

>>>>> "Jim" == Jim Little <> writes:

  Jim> Sorry for the delayed reply -- I was gone over the weekend.

  Jim> wrote:
  >> I don't understand Jim's insistence.  Jim, why is Lisp low-level?

  Jim> Although I already addressed this in my response to Laurent,
  Jim> I'd like to take this opportunity to talk about my definitions
  Jim> of low and high level:

  Jim> To me, the "level" of a language or library is directly related
  Jim> to what kind of task you're trying to accomplish.  The language
  Jim> or library is high-level if it allows you to accomplish your
  Jim> task directly, without having to specify any intermediate
  Jim> tasks.  The language or library is low-level if it requires you
  Jim> to accomplish your task by specifying intermediate tasks,
  Jim> rather than the task itself.

  Jim> Here's an example of a high-level language.  The task is to
  Jim> dial a phone.  dial 555-1212.

That's exactly what you'd do in lisp, provided you have defined
`dial'. To me Lisp is about building higher level function with lower
level ones. 

Laurent Martelli