Glossary

acronym

acronym

A term formed from the initial letters of several words and pronounced as a word, eg. laser.

See also initialism.

association list

A list of the form:

((key1 value1)
 (key2 value2)
 ...)
CLOS

Common Lisp Object System – see CLOS.

concomitant

My dictionary says:

naturally accompanying or associated

and with our computer science hats on we can suggest that they are required to be defined together.

Of interest, the dictionary’s etymology says:

early 17th century: from late Latin concomitant- ‘accompanying’, from concomitari, from con- ‘together with’ + comitari, from Latin comes ‘companion’

So, “me and my mate” rather than, as I thought, co-committed/co-defined.

grok

to understand intuitively

A neologism from Robert A Heinlein’s 1961 novel Stranger in a Strange Land.

grok

homoiconicity

Homoiconicity is defined as:

A language is homoiconic if a program written in it can be manipulated as data using the language, and thus the program’s internal representation can be inferred just by reading the program itself.

Although whether Lisps are actually homoiconic and quite what homoiconic actually means is often a cause for debate.

initialism

initialism

A term formed from the initial letters of several words and pronounced letter by letter, eg. BBC.

See also acronym.

marmite

As the Wikipedia page on Marmite notes:

Such is its prominence in British popular culture that the product’s name is often used as a metaphor for something that is an acquired taste or tends to polarise opinions.

metacircular evaluator

An evaluator that can evaluate itself! First described in the original paper on Lisp, John McCarthy’s Recursive Functions of Symbolic Expressions and Their Computation by Machine, Part I [McC60] where he discusses eval as a theoretical exercise.

MOP

Meta Object Protocol – see Meta Object Protocol.

n-ary

Takes n arguments, more than unary, binary or ternary!

See Arity

reader

the function that reads input from the user or script and determines, based on context, how to represent that input in the syntax tree.

REPL

Read-Evaluate-Print-Loop

Tiny-CLOS

Gregor Kiczales’ implementation of a CLOS – see Tiny-CLOS.

UCD

Unicode Character Database

VDU

Visual Display Unit. The screen and keyboard combo boxes pre-dating separate monitor and keyboards. Usually attached by a serial line to a mainframe. See Computer terminal.

Last built at 2024-05-19T06:11:11Z+0000 from 463152b (dev)