The 9.4.0 newLISP manual

Notices and updates
Lutz
Posts: 5279
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2002 4:45 pm
Location: Pasadena, California
Contact:

The 9.4.0 newLISP manual

Post by Lutz »

Find the 9.4.0 manual and reference here:

http://www.newlisp.org/download/develop ... anual.html

... still changing, to make this the best quality manual ever released with newLISP. All corrections and suggestions are welcome.

m35
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:54 pm
Location: Carifornia

Post by m35 »

Pointed this out before. Maybe it was missed, or not really important.

The description for read-line doesn't explicitly mentioned that it will ever return nil (although the example suggests that it will).

Lutz
Posts: 5279
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2002 4:45 pm
Location: Pasadena, California
Contact:

Post by Lutz »


Kazimir Majorinc
Posts: 388
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 1:24 am
Location: Croatia
Contact:

Post by Kazimir Majorinc »

Good to see new version is coming. User manual and reference is comprehensive and pretty easy to read. Unfortunately, I'm not capable to say anything about 90% of the document because I do not know Newlisp that good, however, I have few proposals.

* consider to add example (or explicit claim) that "eval" has access to the local variables.

(let ((x 3)(y 7))(eval '(+ x y))) ;=> 10

* consider extending introduction with few sentences explaining "what is Newlisp" and "what is the purpose of this document."

* consider Unix instead of UNIX.

* consider to put "Functions in alphabetical order" as a 4th chapter of "Function reference".

Lutz
Posts: 5279
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2002 4:45 pm
Location: Pasadena, California
Contact:

Post by Lutz »

Thanks for the input Kazimir, revision 6:

http://www.newlisp.org/download/develop ... anual.html

Kazimir Majorinc
Posts: 388
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 1:24 am
Location: Croatia
Contact:

Post by Kazimir Majorinc »

Good examples for eval, just I think quote is omitted in all three eval examples with (+ x y) so these examples are true, but trivial. And one less important typo: "expi" in sentence "eval evaluates the result of evaluating expi in the current variable environment."

DrDave
Posts: 126
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 2:47 pm

Post by DrDave »

One of my previous jobs was as a technical writer dealing mainly with preparing user guides for software. I am a nOOb to newLISP, so can't address much on the technical merit of the text. However, I can offer some suggestions for style changes as well as some grammar and spelling corrections. In some matters of grammar, there is no consensus by the "experts" as to which form is correct. Therefore, you may find some of my suggestions more a matter of "preferred by school of thought XYZ" than as correcting an error. (For example, "since" and "because" are often used as synonyms. I adhere to the shchool of thought that if a clause or phrase is dealing with cause-and-effect, "because" should be used rather than "since". "Since" should be used as a time reference. For example. "It has been raining non-stop since yesterday." It is not possible to replace "since" with "because" because there is no "cause-and-effect" here, but rather "since" is making a time reference.)

You'll find below my suggestions for the first two sections. I copied the original text first, and then placed the suggested text below the original.
========================================
Consider using numbered sub-headings. For example
1. Introduction
1.1 newLISP-GS
1.2 Licensing
(You'll see as you go through the suggested changes that it would be much easier to reference by simply stating "section 1.2 para x" than to have to write out the sub-heading.)

Consider using a style for top-level headings of mixed case. For example:
instead of
2. Deprecated functions and futures changes
use
2. Deprecated Functions and Future Changes
=====================================================
1. Introduction
para.5
In this way, contexts can serve as dynamically created objects packaging symbols and methods.

In this way, contexts can serve as dynamically created objects that package symbols and methods.

para. 10 (Better to use "because" than "since" when a casue-and-effect is described.)
Since strings can contain null characters in newLISP, they can be used to process binary data.

Because strings can contain null characters in newLISP, they can be used to process binary data.

para. 14
On 64-bit Linux, SUN Solaris and True64Unix newLISP can be compiled as a 64-bit LP64...

On 64-bit Linux, SUN Solaris, and True64Unix, newLISP can be compiled as a 64-bit LP64...

1. Introduction
newLISP-GS
para. 1
newLISP-GS is a graphical user interface front-end written in newLISP and a Java based library server using the standard Java runtime environment installed on all Windows and Mac OS X platforms.

newLISP-GS comprises a graphical user interface (GUI) and library server. The GUI front-end is written in newLISP, whereas the library server is Java based and implements the standard Java runtime environment installed on all Windows and Mac OS X platforms.

para.2
This makes newLISP-GS is a platform-independent solution for writing GUI applications.

This makes newLISP-GS a platform-independent solution for writing GUI applications.

1. Introduction
Licensing
para. 1
Both the newLISP and other documentation packaged with newLISP are licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

The newLISP documentaiton as well as other documentation packaged with newLISP are licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

2. Deprecated functions and future changes
sub-heading 1 (don't use periods)
Flat and parenthesized syntax rules for index and keyed lsit access.

Flat and parenthesized syntax rules for index and keyed lsit access

para. 1
With release 9.3.0 the number of functions in the nth, assoc and ref families of functions has grown substantially through introduction of setter and multiple key access function for association lists. Some of these functions support both, the flat and the parenthesized syntax, other functions only support the newer parenthesized forms.

With release 9.3.0, the number of functions in the nth, assoc and ref families of functions has grown substantially through introduction of setter and multiple key access function for association lists. Some of these functions support both the flat and the parenthesized syntax; other functions only support the newer parenthesized forms.

para. 2
No rules existed to remember which of both syntax forms where supported in a given function. The parenthesized syntax groups the list or string together with the indices or keys for better readability and faster parseing by the interpreter routines. This is similar to the usage of parenthesis in the for, doargs, dolist, dotimes and dotree functions. Flat forms are faster to type, because they don't require additional parentheses and can be used with curry.

Previously, no rules existed to remember which of the two syntax forms, parenthesized or flat, were supported in a given function. The parenthesized syntax groups the list or string together with the indices or keys for better readability and faster parseing by the interpreter routines. This is similar to the usage of parentheses in the for, doargs, dolist, dotimes and dotree functions. Flat forms are faster to type because they don't require additional parentheses and can be used with curry.

para. 4
Where flat syntax forms exists in setter functions, i.e. nth-set and set-nth, they are not documented anymore and may be eliminated in the future.

Although flat syntax forms exist in some setter functions, e.g. nth-set and set-nth, they are not documented anymore and may be eliminated in the future.

2. Deprecated functions and future changes
Other changes
para. 1
The set-assoc or pop-assoc functions should be used instead of the deprecated replace-assoc, to replace or remove an association in an association list. The old replace-assoc has been removed from the documentation, and will be removed in a a future version.

The set-assoc or pop-assoc functions should be used instead of the deprecated replace-assoc to replace or remove an association in an association list. The deprecated replace-assoc has been removed from the documentation and will be removed in a a future version.

para. 3
The command-line function has been eliminated, command-event should be used instead to modify behavior of the command-line.

The command-line function has been eliminated; command-event should be used instead to modify behavior of the command-line.
...it is better to first strive for clarity and correctness and to make programs efficient only if really needed.
"Getting Started with Erlang" version 5.6.2

cormullion
Posts: 2037
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:28 pm
Location: latiitude 50N longitude 3W
Contact:

Post by cormullion »

Consider using a style for top-level headings of mixed case. For example:
instead of
2. Deprecated functions and futures changes
use
2. Deprecated Functions and Future Changes
If we're voting, I vote against making this change...:) I see no advantage in adopting this style.

Lutz - I'd like to go through the document again, but it will probably be over the weekend. When's your deadline?

Oh - and here's a typo I noticed yesterday while playing with bayes-query:
But small data sets may be used when then the frequency of symbols just describe already-known proportions.

Lutz
Posts: 5279
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2002 4:45 pm
Location: Pasadena, California
Contact:

Post by Lutz »

Thanks DrDave, changes are here in revision 8:

http://newlisp.nfshost.com/download/dev ... anual.html
Cormullion wrote:I'd like to go through the document again, but it will probably be over the weekend. When's your deadline?
Thankyou very much, that would be great, deadline is June 27th. If you want you can edit directly into the file using a text editor (e.g. BBEdit, Taco etc). I have TextWrangler, the free version of BBEdit installed. Don't use any word processor, because they screw up the HTML, which I have under tight control for reliable PDF conversion, usage in shell help functions, etc.. After you are done I use FileMerge.app (Apple developer utility) to see all your changes.

Since Michael and Melissa made the last complete pass through the manual, a few releases have gone by with changes and additions made by me, introducing new ways to misspell and mangle the English language :).

The good news is, that the manual has much improved eliminating inconsistencies in the HTML, so that it is easier to parse it programatically.

The chapter "15. The context default functor" is a regrouping and rewriting of older content in this new chapter.

Kazimir Majorinc
Posts: 388
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 1:24 am
Location: Croatia
Contact:

Post by Kazimir Majorinc »

There is undocumented form of let in Newlisp. Like in Common Lisp, but unlike in Scheme, let does not necessarily contain initialization parts.

(let ((x) (y "y"))
(println x y))

=> nily

There is a small practical, but I'd say significant aesthetic advantage of that form - because declaration is essential, initialization is only handy, so I think it could be good to document it. You need only this:

syntax: (let ((sym1 [exp-init1]) [(sym2 [exp-init2]) ... ]) body)

And perhaps to insert something like "if some exp-init is omitted, default value of nil is used instead" because few lines later, you explain that let is optimized equivalent of

((lambda (sym1 [sym2 ... ]) exp-body ) exp-init1 [ exp-init2 ])

and here exp-init cannot be just omitted, it has to be replaced with nil.

xytroxon
Posts: 296
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:59 pm
Contact:

Post by xytroxon »

The atan entry is broken... (also in v.9.3.14)
Missing: (syntax:(atan... etc...

Code: Select all

atan
5,900,000 (atan num-radians)

The arctangent of num-radians is calculated and returned.
example:

    (atan 1)  → 0.7853981634
    (tan (atan 1)) → 1
-- xytroxon
"Many computers can print only capital letters, so we shall not use lowercase letters."
-- Let's Talk Lisp (c) 1976

DrDave
Posts: 126
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 2:47 pm

telnet for Windows?

Post by DrDave »

In section 3 of the manual, there is this example to test starting a newLISP server in Unix and then making a Telnet connection. (local domain socket connetions.)

Code: Select all

newlisp -p 4711 &
The & indicates to a Unix shell to run the process in the background.
I found at the very end of the section
This mode is not available on Win32.
I program in Win32. It would be a lot more useful to have this remark placed at the start of the section rather than at the end. It really does not make sense for us Win32 users to read an interesting and maybe useful bit of information only to be taken by surprise at the very end of it.
Last edited by DrDave on Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
...it is better to first strive for clarity and correctness and to make programs efficient only if really needed.
"Getting Started with Erlang" version 5.6.2

Kirill
Posts: 80
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:21 pm

Post by Kirill »

cormullion wrote:
Consider using a style for top-level headings of mixed case. For example:
instead of
2. Deprecated functions and futures changes
use
2. Deprecated Functions and Future Changes
If we're voting, I vote against making this change...:) I see no advantage in adopting this style.
I second that.

K.

Lutz
Posts: 5279
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2002 4:45 pm
Location: Pasadena, California
Contact:

Post by Lutz »

Thanks to everyone for all the help, here revision 9:

http://www.newlisp.org/download/develop ... anual.html

For DrDave: on Windows just start the server in the foreground (can also use -d ):

Code: Select all

newlisp -p 4711
then open a second command window window for the telnet application.

This also has been added to the documentation.

xytroxon
Posts: 296
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:59 pm
Contact:

Post by xytroxon »

Found a few more...

3. Functions in groups

List processing, flow control, and integer arithmetic

Code: Select all

<TD><A HREF="#dolist">dostring</A></TD>
Should be:

Code: Select all

<TD><A HREF="#dostring">dostring</A></TD>
String and conversion functions

Code: Select all

<TD><A HREF="#utf8len">utf8</A></TD>
Should be:

Code: Select all

<TD><A HREF="#utf8len">utf8len</A></TD>
Importing libraries

Code: Select all

<TD><A HREF="#get-long">get-int</A>&nbsp;&nbsp;</TD>
Should be:

Code: Select all

<TD><A HREF="#get-long">get-long</A>&nbsp;&nbsp;</TD>
"Many computers can print only capital letters, so we shall not use lowercase letters."
-- Let's Talk Lisp (c) 1976

Lutz
Posts: 5279
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2002 4:45 pm
Location: Pasadena, California
Contact:

Post by Lutz »


DrDave
Posts: 126
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 2:47 pm

Post by DrDave »

Lutz,

I saw your comment about being able to edit directly into the HTML source file. I see that I can run the entire doc through a spell checker and make corrections. So how to send to you the corrected file?
...it is better to first strive for clarity and correctness and to make programs efficient only if really needed.
"Getting Started with Erlang" version 5.6.2

Lutz
Posts: 5279
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2002 4:45 pm
Location: Pasadena, California
Contact:

Post by Lutz »

Thanks DrDave, actually I spell-checked it already, but I may have forgotten something. You can send it as an email attachement to lutz at nuevatec dot com. Take the latest from the development directory, currently revision 10.

cormullion
Posts: 2037
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:28 pm
Location: latiitude 50N longitude 3W
Contact:

Post by cormullion »

spellchecking the newLISP way:

Code: Select all

(set 'file (map lower-case 
   (parse (read-file (string (env "HOME") "/Desktop/newLISP v.9.4.0 Manual and Reference.html")) {\W} 0)))
(set 'words (parse (read-file "/usr/share/dict/words")))
(difference file words)

("" "doctype" "html" "w3c" "dtd" "4" "0" "http" "equiv" "charset" "utf" "8" "lutz" 
 "mueller" "keywords" "newlisp" "programming" "nuevatec" "users" "9" "css" "2em" 
 "1em" "roman" "ffaa28" "optima" "georgia" "456" "100" "16px" "arw" "303030" "cc0000" 
 "555555" "aa0000" "keyword" ... ... ... 
Oh no, the list is way too long - that old Unix dictionary is showing its age!

But glancing through the list, I can see some typos:

Code: Select all

parseing  repetetive expresson destruvtive fuctions loalhost succcessful statments proces enviroment connnection complilation compiliation boool statments prcompiled
So it finds a few more for you... :)

Lutz
Posts: 5279
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2002 4:45 pm
Location: Pasadena, California
Contact:

Post by Lutz »

Thanks Cormullion, updated revision 11:

http://www.newlisp.org/download/develop ... anual.html

at some point I would like to hand it off to you, so we don't work on two different versions. Tell me when the time has come, that you want to start the final review and correction pass. Then I stop correcting, and if people find stuff, you can work it in.

Thanks again for offering to do this, its a rather big piece of work. On the other side, since Michael and Melissa made a complete pass, I probably haven't touched more then 15% of it. The art is to find those 15% though ;-)

Lutz
Posts: 5279
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2002 4:45 pm
Location: Pasadena, California
Contact:

Post by Lutz »

Just received a complete spell-check by DrDave.

Thank you very much.

82 mispelled words, missing commas, double word occurrences etc., have been fixed in revision 12:

http://www.newlisp.org/download/develop ... anual.html

cormullion
Posts: 2037
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:28 pm
Location: latiitude 50N longitude 3W
Contact:

Post by cormullion »

Sorry Lutz, I was hoping to spend some time on the manual over the weekend, but life caught up with me - and then overtook me... Not sure what I can do in the next few days either.

For the future, I can't help thinking that getting a number of different people to contribute to the manual this way is a bit too ..., well, 20th century. Isn't there some more dynamic way to allow people to collaborate as a loosely constructed group and work on areas that they feel comfortable with, in their own time? GoogleDocs? (No, not GoogleDocs, that can't even handle documents over 512K) What else is out there?

Kazimir Majorinc
Posts: 388
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 1:24 am
Location: Croatia
Contact:

Post by Kazimir Majorinc »

"retrieves the argument list of a macro expression" --> "retrieves the argument list of a function or a macro expression"

tom
Posts: 168
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2004 10:32 pm

Post by tom »

cormullion wrote:What else is out there?
http://savannah.nongnu.org

Kazimir Majorinc
Posts: 388
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 1:24 am
Location: Croatia
Contact:

Post by Kazimir Majorinc »

Letex example has one extra quote:

(letex '(x 1 y 2 z 3) '(x y z))

Post Reply