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Scheme, Forth, and C

I came across an article entitled Forth Versus C, and I couldn’t help but notice how much of it applies directly to Scheme (and mostly Common Lisp) as well, with only a few changes in terminology. Naturally not the parts involving its dual stack nature and such, but that’s far from the majority (and you could bring up a similar topic anyway, just compare the C stack to call/cc instead).

This bit especially caught my attention, especially in light of another recent post:

Q. But how can a non-programmer even read a program, let alone tell whether it is right?
A. Forth syntax can be learnt in an hour or two. If the top level of the program cannot be read and understood by someone who understands the problem domain, it is wrong and you should change it.

I would also say this would apply to *any* Domain Specific Language. Lisps (and apparently Forth) make constructing DSL’s trivially easy, any many of the pros and cons of such are discussed (in relation to C).

Back on topic though, I think this article neatly describes many of the fundamental differences between Lisp and C just as well as Fortran and C. I highly recommend giving it a read.

June 29, 2008 - Posted by | Common Lisp, Programming, Scheme, web

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