# Joy, Lambdas, Combinators, Procedures

iepos@tunes.org iepos@tunes.org
Thu, 27 Jan 2000 20:15:54 -0800 (PST)

```> > > I'm unclear on the concept of "the number itself."  Are you
> > > implying that each number has some kind of platonic existance?
>
> > By "the number three itself" I mean the number three in the ordinary
> > sense of arithmetic. I'm not saying it has "platonic existence".
> > (I admit that the concept of the "number three" is a bit vague,
> > but still I think you know what I mean by "three").
>
> I *think* I do, but what I know about the number three would indicate that
> Joy supports it fully.  I'm trying to figure out why you say it doesn't.
>
> > > What would happen if a language decided to represent a number?
>
> > I'm not sure what you mean.
> > Languages like C and Scheme (and English for that matter) can
> > represent numbers, using the symbol "3".
>
> Exactly.  Yet Joy uses the same symbol, and you say it doesn't support the
> number.  I'm curious to know why that is.

Well.. The meaning Joy associates with "3" is slightly different
from the ordinary English meaning of "three". Anyway, I was
probably being a bit silly in suggesting that this is a serious
problem with Joy. That the meaning differs may make it a little harder
to read and write programs, but this is probably a matter of
taste.

Anyway, I find Joy to be quite an interesting system. But,
I don't know that its approach of using composition and quotation
is fundamentally superior to a purely applicative approach.

Anyhow, I am much more familiar with applicative style,
and will probably continue to use it in making my toy system.

> > > > > [building "chaining" into procedures]
>
> > > > Hmm... Well, Haskell for example doesn't seem to use this
> > > > technique.
> > > > In Haskell, a procedure "putChar 'b'" is considered atomic
> > > > (rather than a function that takes the thing to do next); the
> > > > binary operator ">>" (hidden by syntax sugar often) is used
> > > > to chain procedures together. If there is a result, ">>>" is used,
> > > > I believe.
>
> > > I guess I'm more confused by what use this all is.  It
> > > seems as useful as
> > > any other system, but no more.
>
> > Hmm... well there seems to be some use in building chaining into
> > procedures; it eliminates the need for primitives like ">>".
>
> You know, this is the point I missed.  Now it makes sense -- chaining is the
>
> My mistake -- I assumed that your post was an exploration of possibilities
> for your system, because that's how it was worded.  I see now that you were
> following a "chain of consciousness" to explain how you decided what things
>
> > Clearly, the simpler we can make meta-reasoning, the better,
> > especially since it would be nice at some point to make the
> > system reason about itself.
>
> Absolutely.
>
> > - "iepos" (Brent Kerby)
>
> -Billy
>

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