Is Clojure An Acceptable Lisp?

February 5, 2009

Almost two years ago now, Steve Yegge post an article articulating his problems with Lisp. He finished up the article with:

There is no acceptable Lisp

This is a problem. It's not a little teeny one, either. The Lisp communities (yeah, there are a bunch) are going to have to realize that if Lisp is ever going to be massively successful, it needs an overhaul. Or maybe a revolution. Contrary to what some might tell you, it doesn't need a committee, and it doesn't need a bunch of money. Linux proved exactly the opposite. Lisp needs a benevolent dictator. Lisp needs to ditch the name "Lisp", since it scares people. And Lisp needs to learn from the lessons of the 45 years of languages that have followed it.

Sounds a lot like Clojure. Do you agree?

Posted in Technology | Tags Clojure, Lisp



Agree. Clojure's Java integration certainly provides the "support for threads, filesystem access, processes and IPC, operating system interoperability, a GUI, Unicode, and the long list of other features missing from the latest hyperspec" that Steve Yegge mentions in "Problem 2".

Towards the end of his first comment Steve says "I want a language with Python's succinctness, Lisp's extensibility, C's performance, Erlang's parallelism, Java's tools ..." Clojure shows definite promise for all of these.

He also mentions "Io's orthogonality, and apparently Qi's type system". We might have to ask the man himself to find out how well Clojure satisfies these.

# Posted By Stephen Viles on Monday, February 9 2009 at 5:51 AM


mmm clojure seems to fullfill the requirements in though inst the perfect lisp (or arc)

# Posted By atreyu on Tuesday, March 17 2009 at 2:54 AM

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