Some musings from the International Lisp Conference 09 ..
From Jao Ortega, noted Lisper and Haskeller, in his Sussmaniana report from ILC 09 ..
"Next day we were in a kind of tongue-in-check debate provocatively entitled Are macros a menace?. Richard Gabriel was on the wrong side, and arguing along the lines that macros were akin to language design and that he’d rather not suffer the consequences of letting your average software engineer undertake such a complex task. Gerry’s intervention at this point made me again nod like as i was mad: if we cannot trust our software enginneers to proficiently use the really powerful tools of our trade, there must be something wrong in the way we educate them; only those able to judiciously use them should get a diploma, to begin with."
From the blogs of Andy Wingo, reporting on ILC 09 .. on the same discussion "Macros: Are they a menace?" ..
"More seriously, the arguments against macros centered on control: control by bosses on workers, with the idea that macros make custom languages, thus making individual programmers less replaceable."
and by this time all of us know why MIT had switched away from Scheme to Python for their introductory programming course, 6.001. This discussion was also kicked off during the interlude to the macro debate when Pascal Costanza asked the reason to Gerry Sussman. Read Andy's post for more details ..
Sigh! Dumbing down of powerful language features in favor of the strawman argument being discussed in Lisp conferences. Fangs of Enterprise software development ?