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2 points by cje 5314 days ago | link | parent

Parens are an issue -- you need to have all of them. Omitting some parens under some circumstances makes the code slightly shorter, but at the expense of partially hiding the structure of the code.

But here's the real problem: the reader has to understand the forms where parens can be omitted. If you write a macro that creates (def ...) forms, you can't elide the parens around it, because the reader doesn't know it can.

2 points by EliAndrewC 5313 days ago | link

Well I agree that we should only omit parens where it's 100% unambiguous where the actual parens would be. There'd need to be a very small number of simple rules/exceptions (such as "every new level of indentation denotes an extra parenthesis unless ____").

A few years ago Paul Graham seemed to think this would work. However, it may be that he tried it and found that it would be too problematic. I'm hoping that he simply has been too busy to implement it so far.