Related Schemes and Literature

Defmacro in the house, yo!

O the joys of lisping around. Having made it (almost) through chapter 8 in PCL, I am jumping back to LoL. Perhaps I am too picky or my mind-set is just being obstinate, but I have to say that I am struggling with all these lisp tutorials. They start out easily enough and then all in one chapter, the kitchen sink comes flying out of nowhere. Two chapters about macros, well before much to do with lists. Macros are extremely important, but I think that there are other items that ought to come first in a budding lisper’s career.

Another thing that does get on my nerves, and this seems to be endemic to certain veins of books that Explain Hard Things, is the Look How Clever I Am moments, or when in a more jovially tolerant mood, the “Cutsy Effect.” As an example, and not to pick on PCL–it just happens to be handy and relevant: Why, O Why! would the first serious macro example be one wherein there is no body to the macro?

This is part of a larger pattern fueled in part, no doubt, by the need to impress, and includes other such terrors as: All the examples (and I have several elementary student math texts in mind here) show only one way to solve the problem, use the pattern or rule, &c., and then the very first and most of the rest of the exercises can’t be done the same way and/or need information that comes several lessons later!

Perhaps much of this is subconsciously done. This leads to self-reflection. Where is it that I *gasp* maybe, might, do (but oh no! never ever!) the same thing? When explaining, writing, speaking, showing, demonstrating “stuff” I know like the back of my hand? Especially the “stuff” it took me a long time to learn? Sigh.  Well, just wait till I write my book. . .

The Battle of the Books Rages on:

LoL:5 (preparing to outflank) PCL:8


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