one thing I like very much about emacs is the ability to run foreign
programs (like R and picolisp) as inferior process and communicate with them
as if they were part of emacs.

I wonder if one could build a picolisp app that fully integrates with R
(statistics software, http://www.r-project.org/) and GRASS GIS (a command
line GIS that uses a superset of shell commands, http://grass.fbk.eu/) on
its linux host machine?

Emacs obviously can use foreign programs, like ie ledger mode (
http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/LedgerMode) which uses a fast program written
in C++.  I wonder if picolisp can access libraries written in other
languages too?

It's always claimed that clojure is great because it has access to countless
java libraries on the jvm. But clojure is all about functional programming,
concurrency and avoiding mutable state, while java is all about objects with
mutable state. So it would only make sense for a clojure program to call
java libraries like pure functions without side effects and use the return
value, otherwise the clojure clean and scalable programming model would be
messed up.

Can't picolisp do this too? Call Java (and C, C++, Python ...) functions
(with a list of data, maybe) and use the return value? Maybe using clojure
as man in the middle between java and picolisp who takes care of converting
lists in other datastructures and vice versa?

Thanks any help on the road to picolisp enlightment

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