You are previewing Land of Lisp.

Land of Lisp

Cover of Land of Lisp by Conrad Barski M.D. Published by No Starch Press

The Building Blocks of Lisp Syntax

From the crazy line of C++ code in the previous section, you can get the idea that C++ has a lot of weird syntax—for indicating namespaces, dereferencing pointers, performing casts, referencing member functions, performing Boolean operations, and so on.

If you were to write a C++ compiler, you would need to do a lot of hard work so that the compiler could read this code and obey the many C++ syntax rules, before you could make any sense of the code.

Writing a Lisp compiler or interpreter is much easier. The part of a Lisp compiler or interpreter that reads in the code (which Lispers actually call the reader) is simpler than in C++ or any other major programming language. Take a random piece of Lisp code:

(defun ...

The best content for your career. Discover unlimited learning on demand for around $1/day.