[TUHS] Happy birthday, Niklaus Wirth!

Tim Bradshaw tfb at tfeb.org
Fri Feb 16 20:01:36 AEST 2018

On 16 Feb 2018, at 02:09, Bakul Shah <bakul at bitblocks.com> wrote:
> Scheme's lexical scope and block structure came from Algol.
> The rest from Lisp. The joke was that the shortest and longest
> language specs were of lisp dialects. The C++ spec may be
> longer now.

I don't think this is true in any meaningful sense.  There are famous plays on words which relate Scheme to Algol (The Scheme specifications are 'revised^n reports on the algorithmic language scheme', and I think lexical scope in Lisps probably originated with the Scheme people, but Scheme was the first standard language, anywhere, which took lexical scope seriously: in particular it was the first standard language with first-class continuations. (I'm saying 'standard language' because I'm sure there were research prototype implementations.).

The Common Lisp spec was very long at the time -- I think it was 1100 pages.  It was mostly as long as it was because they decided not to split out what other languages would call parts of the standard library.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://minnie.tuhs.org/pipermail/tuhs/attachments/20180216/5f246f0a/attachment.html>

More information about the TUHS mailing list