Brian Rice water at
Mon Oct 30 09:07:10 PST 2006

On Oct 29, 2006, at 7:05 PM, Tom Novelli wrote:

> On 10/29/06, Brian Rice <water at> wrote:
>> After some server maintenance and subsequent hiccups, the site is
>> back online...
> Great, now I can commit the next iteration.  It might be too
> self-deprecating -- although we deserve it. What do you think?

It's improving. I think it's good that you removed the language about  
"giving up on" writing an OS which is not strictly true, it's just a  
different priority simply because of practicality and the culture of  
this generation.

> I looked at those links you sent.  Markdown looks decent, but Creole
> is very close to what I had in mind, so I'm inclined to hop on that
> bandwagon...

Okay, so that's in the same family as Mediawiki's markup so should  
not be hard to transition to and learn (which seems to be the point).

> ...
>> > Still, Lisp seems like the Right Thing (tm) in the long run.   
>> Ideally,
>> > I think, we'd design a cleaner dialect of Lisp for use as an
>> > all-purpose intermediate language, and implement CL, Slate, Python,
>> > ECMAscript, etc. on top of that.  I prefer Python's syntax.  The  
>> nice
>> > thing about CL is, it's mature.  Does all this make sense?
>> Python's syntax has been done as a "skin" on lisp in various packages
>> and I can imagine a future where code is not textual but is
>> interacted with in a "MVC" style fashion (higher-order tree-
>> transformation with massively-customizable editing framework, blah
>> blah blah). So I'd basically say that whatever syntax trees were
>> edited would be most directly renderable as Lisp, rather than being
>> Lisp itself. I'm assuming here that you're proposing this text for
>> website introductory copy, because doing all of this is a Lot Of  
>> Work.
> And these syntax trees could be compiled by Lisp, metaprogrammed as
> Lisp, etc.  In other words we'd use Lisp semantics.  I'll try to work
> that into the new web pages.

I think you should think/present it as "the semantics that e.g. Lisp  
has" rather than identifying it as Lisp's semantics, since the  
semantics of having state, proper closures, and first-class functions  
are really all you're probably interested in, or rather more  
specifically there are nuances of CL or Scheme that don't matter so  
much to us if we differ a bit in order to accommodate the multiple  
syntax possibilities. Perhaps there's a better way to phrase it that  
gets this point across succinctly.

> Let me retract what I said about CL being more mature than Python, now
> that I've tried installing a few packages... It's definitely something
> I want to learn, but I've got my hands full already.  If worst comes
> to worst, I'll just hack together some Python scripts.  For now I'll
> focus on the content.. there's plenty of organizing, writing and
> rewriting to do.

CL does have an immature packaging cultural practice which is  
significant. We're agreed on the last point, to focus on the content.


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