Hi Louis,

I've also just started exploring Picolisp for some of the reasons you mentioned.


Hopefully we can exchange our impressions here after some time.

Me too did find my way to picolisp not from the embedded C world but from interpreter languages.
I already had a little 'lispish' experience (XLisp, Emacs-Lisp).
(Don't bother about the parantheses, tools will manage that, you won't have to count :-) ).

The picolisp tutorial does not cover lisp basics, so you have to get them from elsewhere. Lisp is old - so there should be a lot to find :-)

But always remember: picolisp is different (!) from Lisp or Scheme.

So one coming freshly from a general lisp introduction might get stucked right in the beginning of his picolisp adventure only of different behaviour of QUOTE( and '( or so.

And don't count on the 'segmentation faults' when trying picolisp.
They are caused by user (newbies mostly like I am :-) ),they're no picolisp system failure (certain reason for not handling them by exception is mentioned in the mail archive somewhere).

But in the beginning I felt very annoying about them ("for us guys coming from interpreter languages with clear error messages" :-) ).

For the seg fault reason I do not follow the tutorial way of editing the code inside the picolisp system (edit 'symbol) but use a seperate editor, switching between it and the shell with running picolisp and do (load "source.l") from inside picolisp after each code change. That works fine for me and saves the all code over the segmentation faults I came across.

picolisp is more close to the machine, I think. And that's what you are looking for: simpleness. With picolisp you may have the chance to understand everything, what's going on under the hood - so it's promised by the papers, one can find on www.picolisp.com.


There is not much help found by searching google (stackoverflow and similar) for best practices or 'oneliner', but the IRC channel is a huge dwell of picolisp knowledge and responses immediately most of the times (exactly 'all the times' is my experience, but I don't want to set the kind under pressure :-) ).
  And the mailing list archive will answer questions too.


There are not as much libraries as other interpreter languages offer, but it exists a simple way to integrate a C library in the project code and call the lib function from inside picolisp (look rosetta code example and the paper on picolisp.com) - if that mechanism really is that simple and is to get managed by non-C-Hackers, then this will mean a huge ressource of libraries to a picolisp programmer for the rest of programming life time. (I did not try that for the moment, as I am no C programmer at all and don't know where to fetch the libraries)


At the moment I try to move my personal money account history tool to picolisp. Done so far with several emacs org-babel-, bash shell- and awk- scripts I aim to have the same functionality with better handling (webgui) and fewer tools.

First I did the picolisp tutorial up to chapter databases then entered the IRC channel :-)

Now I'm short before getting really pleasure whith picolisp as its near to the moment where written code will behave as expected ; -)
(and segmentation faults are rarely taken place :-) )

I'm just at the surface of using picolisp, but working with it already really feels very clear, straight, efficient and understandable (= changeable) to me.


Olaf



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