By Christian Queinnec
This can be a superb e-book on Lisp implementation. You'll get much out of it, no matter 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
The chapter closes with a look at recursion and its implementation in these various contexts. Among all the objects that an evaluator can handle, a function represents a very special case. This basic type has a special creator, lambda, and at least one legal operation: application. We could hardly constrain a type less without stripping away all its utility. Incidentally, this fact-that it has few qualities-makes a function particularly attractive for specifications or encapsulations because it is opaque and thus allows only what it is programmed for.
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.
The first kind of error appeared on page 6. 14. Memory, along with input/output facilities, still remains the most expensive part of a computer, even though the price keeps falling. CHAPTER 1. THE BASICS OF INTERPRETATION 14 1. the value that has just been assigned; (That's what we saw earlier with update! ) 2. ) 3. an object representing whatever has not been specified, with which we can do very little-something like #