February 8th, 2008

run the fuck away

My Evil Scheme, or (append '(my) (evil scheme))

I've been working on learning LISP, or more specifically, Scheme (or even more specifically mzScheme). For those unfamiliar, LISP is one of the oldest programming languages in use, as it was originally derived in the 50s. That's right, I'm learning a language that's over 50 years old. Why? Well, it's not for nostalgia's sake.
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My simple (and probably clumsy, by an experienced LISPer's standards) program demonstates why LISP is beloved of AI researchers. A sentence is nothing more than a list of words, and a word is a symbol that has meaning. By establishing relationships between words and lists of words, I can build meaning and then manipulate it to derive conclusions.

There's much more, of course. LISP is also a "metalanguage", that is, a language to describe other languages. I can, using LISP, create new languages easily. One of my other learning projects is making an object oriented language all my own (derived from LISP). It's a great way to arrange and store data. Basically, I'm fascinating myself with the language. Cool, cool stuff. If anyone wants, I may build more formal tutorials as I learn.