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Land of Lisp

Cover of Land of Lisp by Conrad Barski M.D. Published by No Starch Press
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Chapter 4. Making Decisions with Conditions

In the previous chapters, you learned some basic Lisp commands, as well as some of the philosophy behind Lisp. In this chapter, we’ll be looking in detail at commands for handling conditions. The elegance of these commands shows that the unusual philosophy and design of Lisp has real practical benefits.

The Symmetry of nil and ()

One thing is particularly striking when we look at how Lisp commands and data structures work: They are imbued with symmetry in every conceivable way. This symmetry can give your Lisp code a certain elegance that other languages cannot have, and Lisp’s simple syntax is an important factor in making this symmetry possible.

Empty Equals False

Since the Lisp philosophy strongly emphasizes ...

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