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I will grant you that people are doing interesting things in languages other than lisp, and in that in many of those situations, when the results are interesting, you see lispers smugly replicating those systems and saying, "That was easy; we could've done that." But they didn't.

That said, I think the various lisps out there have plenty of user—and by that I mean programmer—success stories. My favorite right now is Cascalog. It's an amazing, life changing tool for anyone who needs to analyze data sets using Hadoop. It makes something that would otherwise be too difficult (given the time I have) to even try to do into something that is fun. Nathan Marz, Cascalog's author, should be considered for a MacArthur genius grant.

Cascalog, incidentally, would not be nearly so amazing if not for the relatively few macros that tie everything together.

Someone please tell me what Hadoop, PIG, HIVE, Cascalog, et al. are doing that is fundamentally new? Reinventing the unix FILE, unix pipes, lisp, awk, sed, grep in a new "distributed bash shell"?

I don't think this stuff, while brilliant and clever and useful, qualifies for a MacArthur grant when one is standing on the shoulders of N CS giants reimplementing their ideas with few truly novel improvements.

MaCarthy, Kernigan, Thompson, Richie, McIlroy etc are those giants.

Nathan went to one of the Clojure meetups in S.F. I didn't get a chance to talk to him but somebody else did a demo of Cascalog there. Cool stuff, I agree, and a good example of the flexibility of Lisp.

I think a lot of people would still balk at the syntax though, and prefer something with similar functionality and more comfortable syntax, even if it was a lot more work to implement such a thing.

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