[Ecls-list] Lispscript on the Web

Dean O'Connor Dean.OConnor at ite.com.au
Thu Aug 24 01:59:40 UTC 2006

IMHO the bottom line is ... a great deal of the IT industry being drawn
into trying to make programming almost a pop culture - anyone can do it

The more "public" facing a language is, and a browser scripting language
is there for end users to see and play with, the more poppy it's deemed

Obviously it has to have as much power as permissible, but it can't be
an uber brain strain or fringe programmers (that includes your average
graphic designer) would turn their nose up at it.

Yes "(setq x 1)" over "x = 1" is too foreign a concept from the basic
math they learnt in school. No they are not willing to read endless
manuals, existing code snippets and quick refs are all they want.

Javascript, though maybe not consciously chosen for it, seems to be a
good balance between power and ease to write. Same goes for PHP on the
server side. Graphic designers can grasp this quite easily.

So Lisp is just too alien for fringe programmers.
I just don't think people have the time or inclination to absorb Lisp,
unless they are a real programmer on a quest for a better way.
I know the Audacity audio editor uses Nyquist (a Lisp based domain
specific language for sound synth and music composition) as its embedded
scripting language. But there again, most end users wouldn't touch it.

On the flip side, we are using ECL for trading rules handler embedded in
a C++ app. Lisp's power actually allows us to dumb down the rule file
(in Lisp) syntax (eg. using macros etc) the end-user (biz minded rule
writers) use. The manual we give them is easy to follow and they are
almost programming without even knowing it :)


-----Original Message-----
From: ecls-list-bounces at lists.sourceforge.net
[mailto:ecls-list-bounces at lists.sourceforge.net] On Behalf Of Julian
Sent: Thursday, 24 August 2006 2:42 AM
To: ecls-list at lists.sourceforge.net
Subject: Re: [Ecls-list] Lispscript on the Web

Pierre THIERRY wrote:
> It's not Common Lisp specific, indeed it may be better suited to
> but I had the idea that Lisp could be a wonderful scripting language
> the Web. I would be delighted to use it instead of Javascript.
> I'd like to know if it has already be tried to embed ECL (or any other
> Lisp implementation, but ECL seems a very good candidate for it) in a
> web browser.
> Curiously,
> Nowhere man
I recall that someone proposed to add a Lisp as scripting engine for
Firefox (Google Summer of Code?). It was agreed, that this is going to
be a very hard task, requiring deep knowledge of both the lisp
implementation of choice and the Firefox/gecko code base.

Nevertheless, one would gain a lot of points on the all-time lisp hacker
hiscore list. ;-)


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