LookLater A commenter on my and Joe’s gaming blog pointed me at a neat service he created, “Looklater,” intended for quickly oookmarking things you want to go back and read later. Kind of a private del.icio.us but without tags and with some other spiffy features. Very interesting little ajax bookmarklet interface! Not Safari compatible though.

But then these days I’m even using Firefox on the mac.

M-J Dominus: “Why Lisp Won’t Win” — Still Applicable?

Mark-Jason Dominus on “why lisp won’t win”:

Here’s the real reason why Lisp won’t win. The Lisp programmers don’t want it to win. They’re always complaining that not enough people are using Lisp, and that Lisp isn’t popular. But they humiliate and insult newcomers whenever they appear in the group. (The group regulars would no doubt respond to this that the newcomers deserve this, because they’re so stupid and argumentative.) If Lisp did become popular, it would be the worst nightmare of the comp.lang.lisp people.


This is from 2003. Now in 2005 there exist things like Practical Common Lisp, which seems to be all of the lisp and none of the attitude.

And we have Reddit.com, where — I counted — one fifth of the current stories on the front page are about Lisp or Scheme, some of them very old stuff (the classic Scheme textbooks, “How To Design Programs” and even more classic, “Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs,” are both front page items as I write this.)

Could it be that there has been some kind of transformation in the last year or two in the classic Lisper attitude?

Is it just me or is there a crazy huge Lisp buzz these days? It could just be that I read Reddit a lot and it’s run on lisp and backed by Paul “Lispmonster” Graham.

BTW, I found “Why Lisp Won’t Win” on Reddit’s new page. It was one of two further lisp links that hadn’t yet been promoted to the front page. (The other was this one.

I’m betting those will shoot to the front page too soon. Lisp posting seems to be as easy a formula for Reddit popularity as Microsoft bashing has classically been for Slashdot popularity.

Patton Oswalt

So Joe introduced me this weekend to the funniest comedian I’ve heard in a long time, Patton Oswalt.

Rude and “edgy” (swears a lot and talks about naughty and/or nasty things) but man is he funny.

“Facts About Midgets,” “80s Metal,” and “Steak” are memorable tracks from his album, “Feelin’ Kinda Patton.”

Ruby Adequately Lispy?

I wrote a little while ago that “I have a feeling that in terms of the ‘defining new syntax structures by being able to take unevaluated code chunks’ aspect of macros, you can get a lot of mileage out of Ruby’s blocks for doing macro-like things. However, macros can do a lot more than that.”

Turns out I’m not the only one to think that Ruby’s a good way to go if you want something with a lot of Lisp groove, including some portion of the power of macros, without jumping all the way into Lisp. Great article there; well worth reading if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

Webcomics Inter-Reference

OK, I never read Queen of Wands, but I’d met its hero Kestrel in Something Positive during some crossovers.

When Queen of Wands ended, there was a lot of speculation that Kestrel would join Something Positive, and by way of reply R.K. Milholland hit her with a car. (Well, it was actually Chex from Checkerboard Nightmare driving the car, I found out via Websnark, the Blog That Reads Many More Webcomics Than Me.

Anyway, apparently reports of her death were greatly exaggerated. Fun.

Not that I have any investment in Kestrel — didn’t read the comic. But it’s kinda cool to see her again.