Charles Hoffman wrote:
> That makes sense to me, except that it doesn't seem all that different
> from what you do with any language by writing functions and classes and
> the like.  You end up with all these concepts that you've defined in
> code and given names to, and then work with those.  So why do Lispies
> make such a big deal over it?
>   
I did something similar a long time ago in macro assembler, which I 
learned a long time before I learned Lisp. Interestingly enough, I dug 
out my copy of Leo Brodie's "Thinking Forth" last night. That 
programming style, and the term "factoring", are prominent in that work 
(which by the way is available on line now as a PDF). I think it's 
something all programmers of a certain level of maturity do regardless 
of language.

I learned Lisp (1.5) in the early 1970s, and this style of programming 
seemed to be tied to Lisp at the time, but I actually had used it 
earlier. For some reason FORTRAN programmers, including myself when I 
was one, don't usually use this style, perhaps because the original 
FORTRAN didn't have structured concepts and forced the use of GO TO 
statements.

Lisp is probably the third oldest programming language in use today, 
after FORTRAN and COBOL. Since FORTRAN and COBOL programmers didn't tend 
to program that way and Lisp programmers did, I suspect the Lispniks 
make a big deal of it because they "invented" it and have been doing it 
longer. :)