So I'm not sure if the argparse function is completely obsoleted by keyword args, but it certainly is in the use case above. With the keyword arguments I've written, you can pass arbitrary code as the default value. So I've rewritten the scrape function above like this
Yes, this simpler macroexpansion is all that's needed, apparently. When I first ported the code above I didn't have an appreciation for what labels needed to do; I just ported it. Thanks for making me think about it a little harder. Here is an implementation that will macroexpand to only one with. I've included a sample macroexpansion, as well as the results of running two functions. One of them, (collatz-seq), uses only simple recursion. The other, (parity), uses mutual recursion.
(mac labels (fns . forms)
(with (fnames (map car fns)
fbodies (map (fn (f) `(fn ,@(cdr f))) fns))
`(with ,(mappend (fn (name) `(,name nil)) fnames)
(= ,@(mappend (fn (f) `(,(car f) ,@(cdr f)))
(zip fnames fbodies)))
(def collatz-seq (n)
(labels ((collatz (n)
(if (even n)
(/ n 2)
(+ (* n 3) 1)))
(worker (n seq)
(if (is n 1)
(cons n seq)
(worker (collatz n) (cons n seq)))))
(rev (worker n '()))))
(def parity (n)
(labels ((even (n)
(if (is n 0)
(odd (- n 1))))
(if (is n 0)
(even (- n 1)))))
(prn (macex1 '(labels ((even (n)
(if (is n 0)
(odd (- n 1))))
(if (is n 0)
(even (- n 1)))))
(prn (parity 17))
(prn (parity 24))
(prn (collatz-seq 21))
;; (with (even nil odd nil)
;; (= even (fn (n)
;; (if (is n 0)
;; (quote even)
;; (odd (- n 1))))
;; odd (fn (n)
;; (if (is n 0)
;; (quote odd)
;; (even (- n 1)))))
;; (even n))
;; (21 64 32 16 8 4 2 1)
By the way, I was sad that you stopped submitting Tcl links after the one :) Don't be discouraged that there was no discussion on it. Sometimes I can't think of anything to say at the moment, but I still enjoy the link.
Since I'm on a roll here with my speculatin': also don't correlate how a post is received with how long it takes to get comments. I just didn't see your Y-combinator post for the 8 days before I responded. Which is a complete outlier for me on this Forum and hopefully not a harbinger of things to come.. :/
I like this idea a lot. I don't like that I've gotten used to the inconvenience of importing math and re in Python. It shouldn't be that hard to use trig functions!
I briefly thought about a static analyzer that would do any necessary imports when the code is first loaded into the interpreter, but there seem too many ways that could get complicated. I agree loading a library on first use is a good way to go.
Considering it for about a minute, I say bracket functions of multiple args is better to have than nested bracket functions. The multiple args case applies more often I would guess. And the nested case is hard to parse, so taking away the power of the multi arg case to have the nested case doesn't seem worth it.
I was thinking that if you have an even simpler way to bind specific variables in the function call, you can nest these anonymous functions, and not have the arguments shadow each other.
> In that case having different delimiters might be the way to go. So your brace notation would be used for anonymous functions with full lambda list capability.
Yeah, I think you're right. The square-brace anonymous function could have optionally a curly-braced first argument. If that argument isn't there, it works as the square-braced anonymous function currently does. If that argument is there, it's the arguments to that function. Since curly braces aren't used anywhere else in Arc, it can only be parsed in that one way.
But perhaps this is all a lot of work to avoid writing `fn (arg1 arg2)`. Other than golfing, I don't know if you really want to nest functions this way. And this seems like a waste of the only paired characters Arc doesn't use.
"And this seems like a waste of the only paired characters Arc doesn't use."
I don't think even the  syntax really pulls its weight. Between (foo [bar baz _]) and (foo:fn_:bar baz _), the latter is already more convenient in some ways, and one advantage is that we can define variations of (fn_ ...) under different names without feeling like these variations are second-class.
(Arc calls it "make-br-fn" rather than "fn_", but I wanted the example to look good. :-p )
Personally, I've never gotten comfortable with the colon intrasymbol syntax. Even in your example, I'm having trouble parsing it right now. I really don't like how it makes "bar" look like part of the first part, not the second.
Those criticisms of tcl are true in the sense that yes, everything is a string, but unfounded in the sense that so what? Values are stored as strings so that they can be passed around as data and used immediately as code. But if you pass "5" to a command that needs to use it as an int, a conversion will take place, and the int value will be stored along with the string representation. The most recently used type of a variable is kept as the primary representation for efficiency (basically caching).
From a practical perspective, I agree with what you say about "Past a point, languages don't matter. At some point you have to build stuff with the languages you know." Programming is about building stuff that works and is useful, and no matter how much theory you know, at some point you just have to sit down and type.
My motivation for evaluating and comparing the relative merits of languages is that programming, for me, is so much more fun when using certain languages. It's not about finding some holy grail of PL. It's about finding a language that is powerful and will pretty much let me do whatever I want.
I completely agree with your point about learning languages to keep learning languages. Even though I consider tcl to be more fun to program in than forth, my time writing forth code was extremely valuable to the way I think about programming.
I really like that analogy to bears.
Edit: The tclers wiki, to which I linked above, contains a massive amount of information on the language, programming in general, and many other topics, the likes of which I've never seen concentrated as well in another programming community.
"It's not about finding some holy grail of PL. It's about finding a language that is powerful and will pretty much let me do whatever I want."
I don't see the distinction. Isn't "let me do whatever I want" the holy grail of PL? :)
My point is that it's equally important to keep learning new things _to_ want. No single language will consistently do that.
"The tclers wiki contains a massive amount of information on the language, programming in general, and many other topics, the likes of which I've never seen concentrated as well in another programming community."
That is high praise! Feel free to submit your favorite links as new threads.
"..everything is a string, but.. so what? ..if you pass "5" to a command that needs to use it as an int, a conversion will take place.."
Here's another way to think about this. Types are useful but they're also speed-bumps. Dynamic languages push types to runtime so that you can run partially correct programs and gradually make them right. The drawback is that you can never be sure that your program doesn't have a type error; there can always be some code path that you haven't tested that causes everything to come crashing down. Passing just strings around makes this drawback exponentially worse: now you can't be sure your program is right even if you cover all possible code paths and your tests have perfect coverage, because type safety is a function of the lines executed and the data they rely on.
On a hunch I also took a look at Tcl's scope design (http://wiki.tcl.tk/12245) because that's something non-lisps (ahem, Python) mess up in subtle ways. And sure enough, Tcl is brain-damaged in this area. (I have sympathy for this mistake, because I too have spent time trying to "design hybrid approaches that strikes a great balance in maximizing the advantages of both lexical and dynamic scoping while minimizing the disadvantages of each": http://arclanguage.org/item?id=15137. Everyone should play with these things, but there's no known improvement on Lisp's dynamic scope and Scheme's lexical scope -- exactly as they're implemented there. Everyone should play with scope strategies so they can understand why.)
upvars is a terrible idea. You don't want capturing variables from the lexical environment to be something you have to explicitly ask for everytime. If you don't tend to use lexical scope all the time you end up with all sorts of action-at-a-distance bugs.
Newlisp is another language that uses dynamic scope by default. All it does is save a little bit of implementation effort. In every other way it's bad for users.
Interestingly, Mu plays this game as well. In Mu you have to explicitly specify what level variable you mean. But Mu explicitly isn't a high-level language. It's a language for building Lisp compilers in. And all Lisp compilers implement lexical scope under the hood using these tricks.
So what I'm saying is that Tcl is trying to avoid some work related to automatically managing lexical scope, and trying to pass this off as good for programmers.
But these comments of mine aren't as concrete as I usually strive for. I doubt you'll be persuaded by them. Just keep them in mind as you continue your search.
"..it's not about __finding__ such a language, more like it's about __searching__ for such a language. Which involves constantly looking at different ones."
It would take a bit of refactoring: Changing the `env` list to a table, adding it as a parameter of `ac-macro?` (which should now look things up from that table first), and finally adding an `env` parameter to Arc's `eval`.
I read the link you suggested in my previous post about defvar, and I see that it can be used to set dynamic behavior when a variable is referenced (??). Is this the correct interpretation, and what might be some uses of that?