The Tragedy of the Common Lisp, or, Why Large Languages Explode (was: revive let blocks)

Alexander Jones alex at
Fri Jun 19 08:06:32 UTC 2015

If people are unable to internalize the whole language, then surely we need
a way to remove cruft and idiosyncracies in it, lest the language stagnate
beyond repair.

Removing var, typeof, exotic objects, function declarations, IsNaN, ==,
enumerable properties, are just a few examples of things we should not be
frightened to talk about.

While I don't personally see a need for the proposed let syntax, I think
that concerns about the language growing uncontrollably should be directed
at its apparent lack of deprecation strategy, rather than shutting down
discussion of new ideas that might help us write better programs.

Just my 2p.

On Thursday, June 18, 2015, Allen Wirfs-Brock <allen at> wrote:

> On Jun 18, 2015, at 12:18 PM, Andreas Rossberg wrote:
> On 18 June 2015 at 19:26, Benjamin Gruenbaum <benjamingr at
> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','benjamingr at');>> wrote:
>> This is a mailing list comprised of people who typically have a much
>> better understanding of the language and its corners than most (even
>> professional) developers have (and dare I say, are interested in or care
>> about having). With ES6 the language already got a *lot* bigger and I'd
>> argue that it's now harder to learn the whole. The tradeoffs were
>> worthwhile but it's definitely an issue.
> I dare say that at this point Allen probably is the only person in the
> world who actually fully knows and understands the complete language. I
> won't hesitate to admit that I don't. ;)
> And I occasionally have to go and look up details.
> Allen
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