Tibor's Musings

Common Lisp and Python

I consider Python to be quite a Lisp-y language, clean and nice for rapid development, with lots of libraries. One message on comp.lang.python said "I never understood why LISP was a good idea until I started playing with python".

Peter Norvig

A nice comparison of Python and Lisp by Peter Norvig: Python for Lisp Programmers.

Erann Gat

Albeit Python runtime speed is much slower than Lisp or OCaml, one of its advantages is that it's easier to find Python programmers than Lisp or ML ones. See an interesting story of previously quoted Erann Gat and "how he lost his faith in Lisp" ... in profit of precisely Python, for some tasks: How I lost my faith (very long).

Paul Graham

Q: "I like Lisp but my company won't let me use it. What should I do?"

A: "Try to get them to let you use Python. Often when your employer
won't let you use Lisp it's because (whatever the official reason)
the guy in charge of your department is afraid of the way Lisp
source code looks. Python looks like an ordinary dumb language, but
semantically it has a lot in common with Lisp, and has been getting
closer to Lisp over time."

--Paul Graham

Eric Raymond

"LISP is worth learning for a different reason -- the profound
enlightenment experience you will have when you finally get it.
That experience will make you a better programmer for the rest of
your days, even if you never actually use LISP itself a lot."

--Eric Raymond, "How to become a hacker"

Alan Perlis

"A language that doesn't affect the way you think about
programming, is not worth knowing".

-- Alan Perlis, "Epigrams in Programming"

lisp python