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This is why I think some Lisp (probably Scheme rather than elisp :P) is a great introductory language: very little is magical or built into the language itself. So you learn about things like OOP as patterns rather than as the one and only way to do stuff (cough Java cough).

That's the approach that SICP takes, and it works really well. Among other things, they show you how to make a basic object system.


And that's great. It's not so much fun for a working programmer though. You don't want to have to implement an object system over and over again, you want to use one to write code.

scheme is great for learning, but as I am trying to make clear with this series of posts on Elisp, there's no other Lisp that's as practical as Elisp, just because of the huge amount of code there is available. It's a fantastic learning resource that people should leverage.

Scheme is still a bit stuck in the multiple-implementations-none-of-which-fully-implement-exactly-what-you-want type stage.

EmacsLisp is like Ruby, but better. One implementation (basically all the others are gone) and lots of people hacking on it and making it better.

The ways it differs from Ruby are that it's a proper Lisp (macros and homoiconicity) and that all the development and debugging tools are built in. Edebug is a fantastic tool for example.

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