Sunday, March 19, 2006

Encounters with LISP

Ever since I read The Cathedral and the Bazaar , I've wanted to try out some Lisp.
LISP is worth learning for a different reason — the profound enlightenment experience you will have when you finally get it. That experience will make you a better programmer for the rest of your days, even if you never actually use LISP itself a lot. -- Eric S. Raymond
But the trouble with most LISP tutorials out there is that they just don't make it easy to get into the flow of this language. Not anymore for me; I found the best LISP book available online.Common Lisp: A Gentle Introduction to Symbolic Computation

So far I've just browsed through the book without writing much code. The favourite chapter so far has been Chapter 7: Applicative Programming. I can say I finally get it, what map and reduce are all about. The curiosity that's been bothering me ever since that Google paper (MapReduce:Simplified Data Processing on Large Clusters (PDF Alert!!))

Well, I've used map quite a bit in Perl. But never got to use reduce. Looks like List::Util module is the best way to try it out.

I don't think I'll ever write much in LISP. But just reading LISP code so far has been fun and educational.
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