By Christian Queinnec
This is often a good publication on Lisp implementation. You'll get much out of it, even if you have an interest in writing compilers and interpreters (for Lisp or any language) or no matter if you simply are looking to see how Lisp works. it's the modern-day successor to Allen's "Anatomy of Lisp".
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Extra resources for Lisp in Small Pieces
See p. 164] The user no longer knows which order will be chosen, and so must use begin when certain effects must be kept in sequence. As a matter of style, it's not very elegant to use a functional application to put side effects in sequence. For that reason, you should avoid writing such things as (f (s et ! f 1r) (s et ! f 1r') ) where the function that will actually be applied can't be seen. Errors arising from that kind of practice, that is, errors due to the fact that the order of evaluation cannot be known, are extremely hard to detect.
6. REPRESENTING FUNCTIONS 15 the list of variables ends with a dotted variable or an n-ary variable that can take all the superfluous values in a list. Two errors can thus be raised, depending on whether there are too many or too few values. 6 Representing Functions Perhaps the easiest way to represent functions is to use functions. Of course, the two instances of the word "function" in that sentence refer to different entities. " The representation that we've chosen here minimizes the calling protocol in this way: the function invoke will have to verify only that its first argument really is a function, that is, an object that can be applied.
Granted, there is only one moment when the function is created, but there can very well be many times when the function is applied; or indeed, there may be no moment when it is applied! As a consequence, the only17 environment that we can associate with a function with any certainty is the environment when it was created. Let's go back 17. True, we could leave it up to the program to choose explicitly which environment the function should end up in. See the form closure on page 113. 6. global The form (lambda (b) (list a b» is created in the global environment extended by the variable a.
Lisp in Small Pieces by Christian Queinnec