How do you know want you want, if you don't know what is available?

Spotted in Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants

I seem to remember Paul Graham making this point in "Hackers and Painters"; languages train you to think in their terms. Looking at a new language isn't enough - you have to get in there and try things out, otherwise you won't see the new; instead, look at what other exponents are doing and see whether it helps you - if it does how would you do it in your "normal" language?

Lip macros are a classic - hard to see why you might want them, especially if your language already has something clalled macros.

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