Ejacs

So, Steve Yegge went insane and implemented a JavaScript interpreter in Emacs Lisp, and he has some things to say about that. Now, I have to point out that making fun of Emacs Lisp is kind of like kicking a puppy... a puppy who's been dead since 1981. But, at this I lolled:
The best way to compare programming languages is by analogy to cars. Lisp is a whole family of languages, and can be broken down approximately as follows:

  • Scheme is an exotic sports car. Fast. Manual transmission. No radio.
  • Emacs Lisp is a 1984 Subaru GL 4WD: "the car that's always in front of you."
  • Common Lisp is Howl's Moving Castle.
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19 Responses:

  1. zonereyrie says:

    Thanks for sharing, I lolled at that too. Nice reference.

  2. urlgirl says:

    I drove one of those '84 Subarus for the longest damned time. The comparison is beautiful :-)

  3. From the comments: 'A little bird told me that Elisp *is* actually being worked on; apparently it's going to grow lexical scoping and coroutines in the foreseeable future.'

  4. hasimir says:

    Does that mean he'd be Ejaced off?

  5. fayanora says:

    Don't know anything about emacs, aside from the fact it's a programming language, but the image made me LOL IRL.

    I once heard a song that insisted that God wrote the world in Lisp.

  6. lindseykuper says:

    Hee. I think "[Steve Yegge] has some things to say about that" is true in the general case.

  7. romulusnr says:

    1. Write something completely redundant in a language that isn't remotely suited for it, just because you "can".
    2. Bitch endlessly about how unsuited the language was for doing such a common, redundant task.
    3. Profit.

  8. I'm pretty sure someone's implemented LISP in JavaScript, so yet again we have the opportunity for an infinite regress of emulation/implementation stacks.

  9. pozorvlak says:

    I assume he's referring to the castle in the film. In the book, the moving castle was an actual castle, with towers and crenellations and stuff, and floated serenely about a metre above the ground. It was also almost entirely illusory.

    I liked the book.

    • dagbrown says:

      In the book, the moving castle was an actual castle, with towers and crenellations and stuff, and floated serenely about a metre above the ground. It was also almost entirely illusory.

      I don't see how that serves any worse as an automotive analogy of Common Lisp.