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And how do you convert any data structure to an s-expression? You serialize the data. How do you get the s-expression into a form your program can understand? You parse it.

In other words you still haven't solved the fundamental problem of passing data back and forth between different programs. In fact if you are going to mandate a specific serialization/deserialization format then JSON, XML, or even ASN.1 are better options than s-expressions.

My point was more, let your language do the parsing and deserialization for you. S-expressions are merely a textual representation of linked lists. The parsing and evaluation of text is already written as part of the language.

The other point was that we're ultimately stuck with serial forms of communication, be it wires, pipes, sockets etc. If we want to easily transfer structured data through these serial channels, we should probably build up our structures from a serial primitives, and S-expressions are much more handy than plain strings (which we may not even be able to parse without ambiguity), or XML, JSON or whatnot. One, because the parser is already implemented as part of the language, and secondly, because you can transfer code in addition to data, and evaluate it on the remote end to bring into scope more "structured" data like records.

I did try to include a bit more in the previous post, but I'd accidentally hit save, and I was unable to edit the post afterwards

Somehow it always felt natural in Lisp Machines.

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