The Lisp Curse by Rudolf Winestock begins:
This essay is yet another attempt to reconcile the power of the Lisp programming language with the inability of the Lisp community to reproduce their pre-AI Winter achievements. Without doubt, Lisp has been an influential source of ideas even during its time of retreat. That fact, plus the brilliance of the different Lisp Machine architectures, and the current Lisp renaissance after more than a decade in the wilderness demonstrate that Lisp partisans must have some justification for their smugness. Nevertheless, they have not been able to translate the power of Lisp into a movement with overpowering momentum.
In this essay, I argue that Lisp’s expressive power is actually a cause of its lack of momentum.
Read the essay, then come back here. I’ll wait.
… … … …
OK, good read, yes?
At first blush, I thought about HyTime and its expressiveness. Or of topic maps. Could there be a parallel?
But non-Lisp software projects proliferate.
Let’s use http://sourceforge.net for examples.
Total projects for the database category – 906.
How many were written using Lisp?
That may not be fair.
Databases may not attract AI/Lisp programmers.
What about artificial intelligence?
Does that mean that Java, C++ and C are too expressive?
Or that their expressiveness has retarded their progress in some way?
Or is some other factor is responsible for proliferation of projects?
And a proliferation of semantics.
Correction: I corrected sourceforge.org -> sourceforge.net and made it a hyperlink. Fortunately sourceforge silently redirects my mistake in entering the domain name in a browser.