On 7/24/05, William James <w_a_x_man / yahoo.com> wrote:
> How much less powerful than Lisp is Ruby?
> 


Lisp has many more features, in fact the entire language could be
viewed as a feature expression system.

That doesn't mean that Ruby is at a huge disadvantage. Ruby has most
of the important parts of lisp. It does lack macos, but very few
languages have the uniform syntax necessary to make macros as easy and
natural as they are in Lisp. Ruby has higher order functions (albeit
with a keyword massage sometimes), lambdas, closures, garbage
collection,  and OO.

Some people would argue that Lisp's Object system, CLOS, is more
powerful than Ruby's because it supports multiple dispatch, and it may
be true that some things express themselves more gracefully in CLOS,
but Ruby's method has a lot of strengths too. Ruby also has a very
strong advantage in the meta-object-programming department. While CL
does have a standard for this, called "the MOP," implementation is
spotty and often subtle details cause incompatibility across Lisp
interpreters, and the MOP itself is often poorly understood even on
comp.lang.lisp.

Actually, that's kind of the story of modern Lisp. "Subtle details
cause incompatibility across Lisp interpreters." It's sad to see such
a fine language ritualistically beat and abuse itself, but its
community insists on a perpetual fork. This fork doesn't just extend
between open source and commerical lisps, which might be
understandable, but also among several open source inheritors, none of
which really could constitute a universal distribution.

-- 
-- 
Dave Fayram (II)
dfayram / lensmen.net
dfayram / gmail.com