"HarryO" <harryo / zipworld.com.au> wrote in message
news:20010724.193631.1899058025.12722 / zipworld.com.au...
> In article <9jfvq1$ac4$1 / geraldo.cc.utexas.edu>, "Todd Gillespie"
> <toddg / linux127.ma.utexas.edu> wrote:
>
> > It would behoove you to read the second half of Paul Graham's recent
> > paper 'Beating the Averages', at http://www.paulgraham.com/avg.html. In
> > a nutshell, programmers that have not understood a particular facility

> That's an interesting article.  I hope Paul doesn't strain his neck
> looking up to Ruby :-).
Yes absolutely - but very much pro-Lisp and the conclusions may not be
applicable for many purposes. The article is also referred on slashdot with
a very long discussion on Lisp pro/con.

> Seriously, though, he mentions as one of the big features they used in
> their development was the ability to define macros.  Not knowing anything
> much about LISP, I was wondering whether you can tell me whether ruby's
> eval (perhaps along with otherruby  features) can be used to achieve the
> same functionality as LISP's macros, or are they more complex beasts than
> that?  Ie, do they provide something we're missing out on?

I guess the power comes from seamlessly being able to write programs in
programs. You can do that in Ruby (which was also a wow factor), but I'm not
sure it can be done as elegant as in Lisp - but then I know very little
about this issue. Like you, I would like to learn more. My primary reason
for looking at Ruby is to gain programming power.

I recently looked at Erlang - the above article has left me wondering
whether you get the same mystical power in Erlang (which does have macros).

Mikkel