Archive for August, 2015


Pattern Matching And Lisp

Posted by Elf Sternberg as programming

No, I don’t mean regular expressions.  I mean that thing that you see in “modern” programming languages where you’ll have two functions of the same name that take different arguments do different things  We use it all the time.  The plus symbol, “+“, often has two separate meanings, and is often processed by two different […]

Chapter 4 of Lisp In Small Pieces introduces side effects. It also introduces a (excruciatingly simplified) taste of what managing memory feels like, with a monotonically increasing integer representing memory we’ve requested, and a corresponding identity in the environment. More interesting is the abandonment of the Object-Oriented approach in Chapter 3 for a completely functional […]

In Chapter 3 of Lisp In Small Pieces, you are encouraged to write a lisp interpreter using continuations. Here’s what I learned as I implemented the chapter 3 examples in Javascript: A continuation is a representation of the incomplete state of the program. For any evaluation being done, the continuation at that moment holds everything […]

We all have superpowers. One of my friends once said that my superpower was the ability to look at any piece of software and, within minutes, be able to describe with frightening accuracy the underlying data structures and fundamental internal APIs used to manipulate it. The other day I ran headlong into Airtable, and the […]

I’m a dilettante in a lot of things software-development related, but I do love watching the world go by. Every once in a while I see two things happen at once and wonder why they aren’t aware of each other. A few days ago I was reading a paper entitled: Buzz: An Extensible Programming Language […]

TL;DR: Lisp In Small Pieces will get you up to speed much faster than Essentials of Programming Languages, but you’ll benefit from owning both. As I’ve blogged before (and have much to discuss), I’ve been working my way through Christian Queinnec’s Lisp In Small Pieces, doing the exercise mostly in Javascript Coffeescript just to prove […]

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August 2015
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