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McCarthy Math (sdf.org)
36 points by geocar 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 6 comments

Nice write-up!

I find it interesting that the original LISP had commas between list entries, while all "real" LISPs use spaces.

I also like how they introduce lists straight away, rather that starting with pairs and constructing lists from that. I always found that to be a distracting detail. Yes, it highlights the simplicity: You don't need lists, all we need is pairs! But even that is not true: You don't even need pairs, because you can construct them from plain, primitive functions.

However, I find it strange that all examples are long strings. Nobody reads LISP code that way. Proper indentation would help a lot with readability. In particular, the similarity with the provided Python samples would become more apparent.

IIRC clojure also allows , as discarded separators

google cache link: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:WjVCXyP... (bcs site wasn't loading for me)

Thanks for posting this! Got a few emails about it and was wondering where they came from. I've always wondered about taking it further i.e. with decimal representation, and would love any references on the topic if anyone knows some.

SDF is an awesome service, but I just hate their BBS interface. I was just a few years too young to have been into that subculture and it always seems neat, but dammed if I don't hate using any BBS I've ever used.

So awkward and unintuitive.

Yep, SDF is awesome! I too was too young to be a part of the BBS world at its peak, and I agree that 'com' and 'boards' are pretty confusing for me at times. But using it as a cheap IRC client, web host, email server, and VPN (over SSH if you don't want to be a VPN-level member) has been super useful for me, and it's nice knowing there's a community behind it that's been around since the 80s.

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