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1 point by evanrmurphy 3459 days ago | link | parent

> Can't say I'm a fan of PicoLisp yet, though. No local variables at all? Come on! ^_^

Hmm... not sure what you mean by this. I can define a local variable at the PicoLisp REPL using let just as I would in Arc:

  : x   
  -> NIL
  : (let x 5
  -> 5
  : x     
  -> NIL
The rest of your comment was really interesting. Thanks for the links!

1 point by rocketnia 3459 days ago | link

Sorry, I spoke too soon. I could tell 'let and function arguments would be possible, but I was a bit put off by From, it sounds like dynamic scope. Is that right? (I'm not in a position to try it out at the moment. >.> )

Speaking of speaking too soon, I may have said "user libraries can't get very far beyond [an fexpr language's core syntax]," but I want to add the disclaimer that there's no way I actually know that.

In fact, I was noticing that Penknife's parse/compile phase is a lot like fexpr evaluation. The operator's behavior is called with the form body, and that operator takes care of parsing the rest, just like an fexpr takes care of evaluating the rest. So I think a natural fexpr take on compiler techniques is just to eval code in an environment full of fexprs that calculate compiled expressions or static types. That approach sounds really familiar to me, so it probably isn't my idea. :-p


1 point by evanrmurphy 3459 days ago | link

No harm done. :) PicoLisp appears to have lexical scoping but dynamic binding, although my PLT is too weak to understand all the implications of that. From the FAQ:

> This is a form of lexical scoping - though we still have dynamic binding - of symbols, similar to the static keyword in C. [1]

> "But with dynamic binding I cannot implement closures!" This is not true. Closures are a matter of scope, not of binding. [2]





2 points by rocketnia 3459 days ago | link

Sounds like transient symbols are essentially in a file-local namespace, which makes them lexically scoped (the lexical context being the file!), and that transient symbols are bound in the dynamic environment just like internal symbols are. So whenever lexical scope is needed, another file is used. Meanwhile, (====) can simulate a file break, making it a little less troublesome.


1 point by evanrmurphy 3459 days ago | link

But the let example I gave a few comments ago didn't use a transient symbol. Why does it work?

I chatted with PicoLisp's author, Alexander Burger, yesterday on IRC. If I catch him again, I can ask for clarification about the scoping/binding quirks.


2 points by rocketnia 3458 days ago | link

I think it works because while you're inside the let, you don't call anything that depends on a global function named x. :) That's in the FAQ too:


What happens when I locally bind a symbol which has a function definition?

That's not a good idea. The next time that function gets executed within the dynamic context the system may crash. Therefore we have a convention to use an upper case first letter for locally bound symbols:

  (de findCar (Car List)
     (when (member Car (cdr List))
        (list Car (car List)) ) )