May 15th, 2008

programming exposition

Every now and then I see questions like this:

What's the Lisp equivalent of Java's zotFrizzle?

or

Is there a Lisp-for-C++-programmers guide?

In general I think it's better to learn a language on its own terms, without trying hard to figure out how it maps to some language you already know.

I was reminded of that when reviewing K&R for some C hacking. There's one part that says "This is like the foo feature of Pascal or the bar feature of Fortran." Now I just have to learn Pascal or Fortran to get the reference!