Hal Fulton wrote:

> 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.)

That was my motivation to buy the book; even though I've probably 
already read half the essays, I wanted to encourage him to write more, 
so I'm happy to pay for the book.

> 
>> 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?

Indeed.  And, as it turns out, if you want to read this particular 
comment you have to get the book; the original essay is on-line, but it 
was written in 2002 and does not mention Ruby.


James