tufty
Posts: 1456
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:32 pm

Re: John McCarthy, RIP.

Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:09 am

It's been a tough month for influential tech people.

John McCarthy, father of LISP and AI research, inventor of time sharing, passed away last night aged 84.

Thanks, John.

User avatar
ukscone
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 4203
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:51 pm
Contact: Website

Re: John McCarthy, RIP.

Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:56 pm

I find it a bit of a shame that the Steve Jobs thread got lots of posts (ok most were debating his pros and cons but they were still posts), the dmr thread got quite a few posts but only tufty (remember to look left, then right then look left again) even mentioned John McCarthy's passing.

tufty
Posts: 1456
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:32 pm

Re: John McCarthy, RIP.

Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:09 pm

Yeah, but tufty's one of them weird lisp guys. He probably runs half a dozen persona coroutines as a matter of course.

Anyway. Here's en investigation into part of John's legacy to us all - Maxwell's equations of Software. As long as that's not forgotten, neither is John.

User avatar
Jongoleur
Posts: 1179
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:47 pm
Location: O'erlooking the sea, and all those effin windfarms...

Re: John McCarthy, RIP.

Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:10 pm

Its to be expected; the pioneers of the Digital Age, who thought of all the things we now take for granted, are being archived (nonoicantsaythat), well, you know what I mean. All we can do is think of them fondly even{if{it{does{mean{too{many{curly brackets}}}}}}} and give them a rousing cheer!

Cheers John!

@ukscone: At least he's not the Green Cross Code Man......
I'm just a bouncer, splatterers do it with more force.....

User avatar
ukscone
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 4203
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:51 pm
Contact: Website

Re: John McCarthy, RIP.

Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:12 pm

Yes in a previous life i was one of those weird lispy prologgy guys too. There is going to be hell to pay when karma finally catches up with me for that.

vladhed
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:04 pm

Re: John McCarthy, RIP.

Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:57 pm

I have a theory - most people learnt Lisp from writing Emacs macros. Emacs being such a memory pig naturally makes the R-Pi an "unsuitable" platform for that population that cares about Lisp.

Not sure if Emacs could be called a memory pig now-a-days. The joke was it stood for "eight-megs-and-constantly-swapping" which was true when on a Sun 3/60 that only had 8 Megs

User avatar
johnbeetem
Posts: 945
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:18 pm
Location: The Mountains
Contact: Website

Re: John McCarthy, RIP.

Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:13 pm

Well, I for one learned LISP before Emacs was released. The beauty and elegance of LISP is that it requires only a few primitive operations -- everything else can be built from those primitives. Given that LISP was first implemented on an IBM 704, the idea that it's somehow a resource hog is pretty far-fetched. That said, I've never used Common LISP or other modern variants so I have no idea how much of the original elegance is still there. For that matter, I first used Unix on a PDP-11/45 so it wasn't a resource hog initially either.

Return to “Off topic discussion”