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Re: Mathematica and Lisp

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  • Subject: [mg129921] Re: Mathematica and Lisp
  • From: John Doty <noqsiaerospace at>
  • Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2013 01:09:53 -0500 (EST)
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  • References: <kcqkv4$lq5$> <kgc53j$gb8$>

On Saturday, February 23, 2013 9:31:47 PM UTC-7, Peter Klamser wrote:

> Mathematica is complex software which uses Lisp like language as a
> base system. 

Except that the resemblance is superficial. Mathematica's expression evaluator is very different from a Lisp evaluator.

> It is useless to open a Lisp interpreter and to try to
> emulate Mathematica, because you need 10^10 lines of code to provide
> Mathematica like results.

Early versions of Mathematica were rather small: I remember that the upgrade to version 2 came on two floppies. For my purposes, even version 1 was more effective than the best-known Lisp-based system (I had used that previously).

Of course, any software that's around for decades grows. C was first developed on minicomputers with a few MB of disk, but these days you need >1 GB of free space to compile gcc.

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