Lisp: Day 0

  • by Amando Abreu
  • on 08 February 2019

The first time I heard the term “linked list” was in the beginning of 2017 when reading JavaScript Allongé the 6th

Turns out it’s from an obscure language called Lisp, which literally stands for List Processor. I immeditately assumed it was created by Oskar Schindler, but it turns out it was a guy called John McCarthy.

2 years later I decided to investigate more about Lisp, and found this site that claims most people already know some Lisp.

Wait… I already know some Lisp?

Turns out that if you look at this for about 1 minute it all makes sense. Might be even faster if your algorithm tekkers are fresh and you can extrapolate what qs means in the context of algorithms.

(define (qs xs)
  (if (empty? xs)
      (list )
      (let (
        (middle (first xs))
        (others (rest xs)))
        (let (
          (left (filter (lambda (x) (<= x middle)) others))
          (right (filter (lambda (x) (> x middle)) others)))
            (append (qs left) (cons middle (qs right)))))))
(qs (list 4 5 1 2 3))

So, what next?

Consider this. If practicing with JavaScript, or Python, or C#, or whatever your primary language is made you unknowingly learn some Lisp, then shouldn’t it work the other way around as well?

Perhaps I will attempt to write a GIMP Plugin if an idea pops up, either before or after reading Land of Lisp which is about 4 books away from being read, but I find that having a reason to do something(such as implementing an idea) is a powerful way to learn. Without an idea, or a goal that is bigger than just learning for the sake of learning, I find it hard to stay interested.

A robotics expert once said: “I’ll never be a match for the desperate trial-and-error attempts of an amateur” - Kazuya Kanemaru, CEO, On-Art Inc. “If Dinosaurs Moved”

About the author

Amando Abreu is a serial entrepreneur, Fractional CTO, and engineer who has been involved in several startups and launched dozens of products. He has worked with companies such as trivago, Portugal Telecom, and Vizrt. He has experience in several industries, most notably e-commerce, SaaS, media, travel, insurance, property development, and construction.
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