[racket] syntax, differently

From: Richard Cleis (rcleis at mac.com)
Date: Sun Aug 1 21:43:35 EDT 2010

Perhaps this is related to some of what you are saying: For years I  
put double spaces after every initial element that had more purpose  
than a basic function (define, cond, let, etc.) I wish I had time to  
make a formatter do that, because I still like it.


On Aug 1, 2010, at 7:23 PM, Ray Racine <ray.racine at gmail.com> wrote:

> Ah yes, re-playing back those early scheme days in my head.  As all  
> do and did,  I wrested with parens, and recursion.  Recursion did  
> finally click and even now 1/2 the time I find myself "looping" with  
> a recursive function in Scala.  I don't give it second thought, it  
> does confuse the hell out of others however who read the code.  Even  
> funnier, I now think how come they can't seem to "get it".  But it  
> did kick my ass in the day.
> But parens ....  I did finally make a separate peace with parens,  
> but in a very unique manner.  It turned out it wasn't the parens  
> after all it was the pseudo special forms/keywords + parens that  
> created the dissonance.
> As a joke, literally two beers bored as hell on Friday night what- 
> the-hell-as-a-joke exercise, I used emacs to redefine each of the  
> common special-form / keywords to single greek letters. lambda ->  
> lambda-char, define -> lower-delta, if -> lower-iota, begin -> lower- 
> rho, let -> lower-beta, set! -> lower-sigma, 'and', 'or', 'not' ->  
> the single char logic symbols, #t #f -> top and bottom symbols, etc.
> I read rho means 'r'un.  I read beta as 'b'ind.  I read sigma as  
> 's'et! etc.  And a few years later, I'm still coding in joke mode.
> Sigma (set!) is a bright red char.  All others in chars in a light  
> blue.  I use a black background, and parens are in a light grey, you  
> almost can't see them.  I constantly let emacs indent and 'tab'  
> lines into place.  In other words, indentation guides first, parens  
> second and as the last resort when I get 'lost'.
> All other text is bright white on black.  Nesting is more  
> symmetrical and cleaner.  I'm sure everyone out there will just hate  
> it.
> So where am I going with this.   Just tossing out the thought that  
> its not the parens per se, but parens combined with the core forms  
> which are the issue.  Particularly: define, let, begin, if.
> Very curious if its just an odd twist to my mental makeup, I'm  
> slightly dyslexic as well, or some others might end up seeing it the  
> same way.
> Skeptical??  I believe DrRacket added delta (for 'define') and  
> lambda greek char capability long ago.  May have even been driven  
> from an earlier posting by me on this very topic to the list a  
> number of years back.  Complete the experiment by adding single  
> greek chars aliases for 'let', 'begin',  et al.
> You're probably wondering by now, so without further ado, Ladies and  
> Gentleman I give you "Funky Racket Syntax" http://imagebin.ca/view/s6SHn7c.html
> I tried to actually pick "bad" examples.  I'm sure you'll all agree  
> I succeeded.
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