Re: Syntax (Silver)
5 Dec 91 23:29:38 GMT

          From comp.compilers

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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: (Silver)
Followup-To: comp.lang.misc
Keywords: syntax, Lisp
Organization: Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, N.J.
References: 91-11-030 91-12-021
Date: 5 Dec 91 23:29:38 GMT writes:
> In any case, infix is more concise than prefix since it usually requires
> fewer parentheses.

This is so for smaller expressions. But some operators can naturally take many
operands. After the third argument (or after the second if the operator is
more than a single character), you start to see a space savings.

        (+ a b) (+ a b c) (+ a b c d)
        a + b a + b + c a + b + c + d

        (<= a b) (<= a b c) (<= a b c d)
        a <= b a <= b <= c a <= b <= c <= d

It's a close call, but without tossing statistics about, I concede the brevity
edge; `usually' is correct. Comprehensibility is affected by so many other
factors besides brevity that it's difficult to make a sweeping statement. My
only comment is Familiarity.

> Many programmers hate LISP, and hate it passionately.

Noted. The vision of many programmers are clouded with poorly-formed
prejudices. I'd wager that the typical exposure is for less than two
weeks in a programming languages survey class as an inexperienced student
who knows Pascal or C. No-one is holding their hand while they struggle
with an unfamiliar language learning an unfamiliar programming style.
This is probably the basis for a lot of negative feelings, which doesn't
reflect the quality of the language.

> These arguments are getting off the topic.
Agreed. Followups are directed to comp.lang.misc.

Regards, [Ag]

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