Benjamin Russell responded to this article at Google+:

Agreed! Back in college, I was first introduced to both Scheme and Common Lisp in my first computer science course for majors in the subject: “Computer Science 201a: Introduction to Computer Science (for majors),” taught by Professor Drew V. McDermott, back in fall of 1990.

Professor McDermott, for some odd reason, preferred Common Lisp over Scheme, gave lectures using Common Lisp, and even provided a 1-page double-sided handout entitled “Common Lisp for Schemers.”

The entire language specification for Scheme was only 50 pages long; the book for Franz Common Lisp was approximately 1300 pages long.

Common Lisp was so huge that I constantly had to keep referring to the reference manual to use it, and spent more time in looking up functions than in programming in Common Lisp. It was extremely annoying to use. I had to spend much more time in figuring out how to use the functions in the reference book than in actually thinking about what I wanted to do, and this aspect annoyed me to no end!

Scheme, by contrast, was much, much smaller, and I was able to concentrate much more on figuring out what I wanted to do than on looking up functions. This aspect allowed me to concentrate much more on programming.

To this day, I still hate Common Lisp, but still like Scheme. Common Lisp is like a hairy gorilla; Scheme is like a pygmy marmoset!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store