Saturday, December 03, 2005

Why Ruby is an acceptable Lisp

Eric Kidd has a very nice posting + discussion going on about Ruby in relation to Lisp. I frequently stare longingly at Lisp (and frolic now and again with the Little Schemer). My interest in Ruby (along with moving to Cambridge) have me thinking more and more about Lisp these days.

Eric thinks that Ruby's metaprogramming facilities give you power approaching macros - "80% of what you want from macros" - while the language syntax provides a "dense functional language", allowing the compact and clear description of the programming task. While I cringe a bit at the term 'dense' here, Ruby's expressive properties are formidable (something that I discuss briefly in a comment to the post itself).

The post is well worth reading, and the comments provide a nice range of opinion. Plus there are lots of yummy code snippets!


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