Lambda the Ultimate

inactiveTopic More on Curl
started 1/5/2001; 4:18:19 PM - last post 1/10/2001; 7:42:59 AM
andrew cooke - More on Curl  blueArrow
1/5/2001; 4:18:19 PM (reads: 602, responses: 3)
More on Curl
This paper explains curl in much more detail than the docs in the Curl IDE download (which are good - apart from missing APIs - but introductory).

My first impressions after downloading the IDE were (1) another Java (2) oh, it's Lisp in disguise and (3) but where are lists and quoting?

(There's also a discussion here about the origins - not very interesting really).

PS If you've not followed the previous link, Curl is an ambitious attempt to unify HTML, scripting, applets and graphics on the web in one language. If you've ever mused on the similarity between XML and S-expressions you'll see the Lisp connection, but it's been toned down into a "gentle slope system" (less parentheses and multimethods are out, as far as I could see).
Posted to "" by andrew cooke on 1/5/01; 4:22:27 PM

Chris Rathman - Re: More on Curl  blueArrow
1/5/2001; 5:44:47 PM (reads: 624, responses: 0)
The Document Style Semantics and Specification Language (DSSSL) that went along with SGML used the syntax of Scheme so there is precedence for using Lisp in document formatting. DSSSL though got a bad wrap because the standard itself was way too complex (on top of the complexity of SGML itself).

As part of that fallout, I think the XML standards committee decided to create their own transformation language (XSL) and steer clear of a Lisp syntax.

Adam Vandenberg - Re: More on Curl  blueArrow
1/10/2001; 12:46:54 AM (reads: 582, responses: 0)
Whoa, CURL. I remember reading through this paper about 3 years ago when I was still at school.

I wasn't impressed, mostly because I thought that anything that wasn't more of the same (ie, HTML + Javascript) wasn't going to take off; that browsers were pretty much set in stone.

I suppose I have more of an appreciation for the need to just try systems out these days.

One point in their demo that I thought was really lame was creating a thread to update the price. 10 seconds?!? Why on earth would you only update the total price every 10 seconds? I've used websites more responsive than that! :)

On another note, having done some work using XSL I wish it were rather more like LISP than what it is. Ah well.

andrew cooke - Re: More on Curl  blueArrow
1/10/2001; 7:42:59 AM (reads: 570, responses: 0)
From reading the paper and their docs I got the impression that it might be a powerful language (blocks of statements might have been first class objects like in Smalltalk; a hint of macros), but what there is focuses on the "it's like Java" end of things.

Vaguely related: I'm starting to realise that lazy evaluation might do all the things I think macros are good for, in a more elegant way. (I guess this might be obvious to the better educated members here, but it was only a few days ago when posting a comment here that this finally hit home).

PS I agree about the browsers been set in stone etc. As I went through the downloaded IDE my heart sank - I felt so bad that all this nice work had been done for something that didn't seem to have a chance of being successful. But maybe that's just a symptom of working in a .com these dats ;-)