[Openmcl-devel] ccl manual (was Re: trace on recursive functions)

Ron Garret ron at flownet.com
Tue Dec 15 10:41:37 PST 2009

On Dec 15, 2009, at 9:33 AM, Waldek Hebisch wrote:

> Ron Garret wrote:
>> I am certainly no fan of reinventing the wheel for the sake of reinventing the wheel.  But markup is a special case, for two reasons.  First, SGML/XML/HTML *are* S-expressions, only with a more cumbersome syntax.  There is a formal equivalence between:
>> <foo>...</foo>
>> and
>> (foo ...)
>> So it's trivial to go back and forth between the two.
>> But there is one thing that everyone here should be able to agree on and that is that S-expressions are cool.  That, plus the fact that there is a good impedance match here, to me means that this is as good a problem as any to collectively tackle.  If not this, then what?
> I think you forget basic fact: XML is ugly _bacause_ it was designed
> to be a markup language.

No.  XML is ugly because it is badly designed.  There is nothing in the fundamental physics of markup that requires ugliness.  There are existence proofs that non-ugly markup languages are not only possible, but not all that hard to design and implement.  Markdown is the poster child.  Even Common Lisp itself can be considered a (very narrowly focused) markup language by virtue of having docstrings as part of its syntax.  Common Lisp is not particularly good or capable as a markup language, which is why no one is suggesting using it for the application at hand.  But it is another data point to prove that XML is not the be-all and end-all of markup.


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