I’m at the in-laws over thanksgiving; no high speed internet or anything like that (posting this over my FIL’s AOL account). I’ve got a lot of reading time, so I’ve been making my way through Practical Common Lisp, whose hardcover I bought back this summer.
My new hosts NearlyFreeSpeech.net happen to support Common Lisp as a CGI language, of all things, so the potential to have some fun with it is there.
I’m up to chapter 9.
Some parts of it make me want to run back to my old friend Scheme. The whole “function namespace” thing, having to refer to functions in a non-function-call context #’like-this. Goofy. But it’s a great book, and I’m really enjoying it. Taking it in small enough doses that my attention stays focused.
Finally having considerable real-world programming experience (in Perl) has given me an idea of just how useful something like Lispy macros could be… You can achieve something kind of like Lisp macros using source filters, but it’s far more hassle in Perl and far less powerful.
I also brought my Ruby on Rails book, but it’s not quite as interesting to me right now. Honestly, I know Ruby reasonably well, having played with it in work and home contexts since about 2001. I have never used it for full-time programming work, which would give me a serious knowledge of it, but I’ve used it for a lot of goofy little scripting. But I find Rails kinda hard to understand. I’m gonna have to put some serious attention into that Rails book and play with it a lot to “get” it.
I’m also a little worried about all the megahype Ruby’s getting. Pride goeth before a fall. It makes me kinda queasy to see one of my favorite languages get quite that level of buzz.
But my buddy Jim is interested in acquiring some Ruby-Fu, and he’s schooled in Java, so I wanted to pass along for him this link I found — 10 Things Every Java Programmer Should Know About Ruby. Looks pretty cool.
Catch y’all later.