Lisp Machines Are Coming Back

But not in any form that you'll enjoy.

Hmm, let's see now: All of the IT world is rushing to support data exchange, and these days data storage, query and processing using XML documents. Anything and everything is becoming XmlEnabled. While it might be that XmlIsaPoorCopyOfEssExpressions, or alternatively that XmlIsaGoodCopyOfEssExpressions, most informed observers seem to agree that XML offers something very similar to EssExpressions.

And it has been shown that XsltLanguage is a (rather feeble) FunctionalProgrammingLanguage.

But, it turns out that shipping big old piles of hierarchical data around in a verbose, wooly format, and then processing it with a weak language running on stock hardware (and maybe with an interpreted language in-between) introduces some XmlPerformance problems (although that page doesn't really talk about them, yet). As a result, hardware accelerators for XML processing, such as those mentioned at http://www.datapower.com/products/index.html are being developed.

Hmm again: specialized hardware for running functional programs over hierarchical data...why, it's a LispMachine!

Just alter your LISP interpreter to use angle brackets instead of parentheses, and tell your PointyHairedBoss that it is the latest nestable incarnation of XML. Call it "Enterprise XML 2.0" (EXML 2.0) and sell it for 50 grand. Don't use logic, that does not work. Use marketing :-)

This page is pretty old, but the above recommendation is actually... still a brilliant idea. Two versions spring instantly to mind -- perfectly in line with the idea to use marketing tactics to undermine XML: EXML == "Feed things to SBCL with anglebracket/paren substitution", EXScript == "do the same thing with Guile". Problem solved. Those who don't know enough to be making the decision anyway are supportive because it sounds XMLish, those who do know better inherit better tools (plus the nifty frameworkish things built into Guile -- so now "XML comes with its own webserver", for example). After a year or two of this we could revert to parens by loudly trumpeting them as a masterful advancement in the language paradigm.
Given that LispMe is the easiest language I have been able to put and use on my Palm to do ProgrammingOnHandHelds, (PocketC expired), my Palm is effectively a LispMachine - apart from websurfing and HyperNote that is mostly what I use it for.


Why don't we add "railing against XML while ignoring or pretending not to understand the historical and practical reasons for its use" under SocialProblemsOfLisp.

It's by no means just SmugLispWeenies that rail against XML.

This is true. I hate XML everywhere but the way it is used in ODF (which I was shocked to discover) and loved YAML for nearly everything else, but was not among the SmugLispWeenies. Oddly enough, I have since passed through being a SmugLispWeenie and broken through to embracing HaskellLanguage. I think the only reason that community does not exhibit the SocialProblemsOfLisp (yet) is that the community is still really small and more excited than insular/protective. --CraigEverett?

EditText of this page (last edited January 18, 2013) or FindPage with title or text search