James Britt wrote:
>> There *are* good, useful definitions of what constitutes a functional
>> languages, and Ruby does not match the criteria for most of them. 
>> Probably the most fundamental of all criteria is that the language
>> does not allow side-effects, such as assignment.

We're OT now, but my ignorance of FP is such that I can't imagine
a language without assignment.

> Interesting. Paul Graham, author of a few books on Lisp, has a new book 
> out called Hackers and Painters. It's a collection of essays, most if 
> not all of which are, I believe, on his web site (paulgraham.com).

I might have to buy that, web or not. Paul Graham is cool. I find him
to be clever, profound, and insightful. (As opposed to most of us who
struggle simply to be clever and profound.)

> There's an essay ("Revenge of the Nerds") toward the end of the book, 
> part of sequence that sings the praises of (surprise) Lisp, and in it he 
> mentions that many of the newer programming languages seem to follow a 
> pattern of each one (perl -> python -> ruby ) being increasingly more 
> like Lisp.  Ruby is mentioned only sporadically in his book, and mostly 
> in the latter chapters, but in this essay he goes so far as to say that 
> if you showed Lisp to hackers in 1975, and said it was a dialect of Lisp 
> with some syntax added, no one would argue otherwise.

You must mean: s/showed Lisp/showed Ruby/
Correct?


Hal