Hi folks, this is my first post here, and I am kind a new to Lisp, so apologies for any daft or dumb-seeming questions
for client stuff, and more recently Python.
A few years ago I was lucky enough to spend a few months working with a VERY good Lisp programmer, who introduced me to this weird language that until then I had heard of but never actually even seen an example of. He also introduced me to Emacs and various tools to make coding in Lisp easier, like SLIME.Unfortunately my contract ended before I could learn much more than the absolute basics, but since then I have had an interest in Lisp - the code that I could understand was outstandingly elegant, and the idea of a beautifully organic language based almost purely on mathematical principles was and is very appealing. Unfortunately I never got around to building on this experience, until I recently decided to bite the bullet, get my head down, and actually learn to program, if not fantastically, the at least reasonably well, in Lisp.
So, that's pretty much where I'm at now - I have found many books and other resources to help, some of which are awful, but many of which are very well written and surprisingly humorous and entertaining for a programming textbook.
My current issue is Lambda functions - I have read as much as I could find on this subject, including going back to Alonzo Church's papers on Lambda Calculus (which pretty much all went waaaaay over my head). I get the idea of anonymous functions, and I know that they are kind of crucial to the power of Lisp (and according to some papers I've read, effectively ARE Lisp)...but I just really don't get why. Why, when and where would Lambda functions be used...I know this is a problem with my thinking, probably a result of my previous programming experience, and I also know that experienced Lispers will probably wonder why I'm having such a problem with this, but...I am. To be honest I don't know what I expect as an answer to this post...obviously some miracle suggestion would be great
I know if I carry on writing Lisp programs I'll probably find I grok it without actually realising how or why...so I guess maybe I'd just like to know if this is a problem that other people have come across and hopefully worked through - it'd be nice to know I'm not alone in finding this hard to comprehend....
I hope that all makes sense - it's a lot longer than I'd planned, but I'd like to think that in the future I may be able to contribute to this forum, if only in supporting other baffled new-Lispees. Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to read this, and double-plus thanks for anyone who replies.