Lisp n' stuff

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Posted by: stak
Posted on: 2007-01-21 13:53:53

Various things have happened since my last post: it started snowing, the iPhone was announced, I finished the first real-time assignment twice (the first attempt used blocking I/O, which was bad), and started learning/using Lisp for compilers. I'm sure other stuff happened in between, but meh.

Lisp is a pretty cool language. I'm not convinced it's useful for a lot of things in today's software world, but it's definitely handy for writing a compiler. In fact, my only real problem with it is indentation. It's hard to come up with a consistent Lisp style that is readable. If I use a 4-space indent, the code shoots off to the right side of the screen almost immediately, but a 2-space indent makes it hard to visually line up things at the same indentation level.

I found myself wishing vim came with a built-in ruler thing so that it would be easier to line up the code, but it doesn't. So I went for the low-tech solution instead: I wrote a little app that throws up a screen with a black background and bright vertical lines every 12 pixels. I maximize the window, then open up my Lisp code in an OS X Terminal in front. Turning on the Terminal transparency allows me to see through to my vertical-line app, which effectively gives me vertical lines behind my code, spaced at a width corresponding to 2 characters. Problem solved. :)

Now if I could just figure out a way to do this programatically every time I open up a .lisp file in vim...

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