I’ve been thinking about this problem for awhile, and I have an idea of one of the major factors preventing LISP adoption: EMACS.
Emacs is, well, complete shit. Vim is also shit. They are the awesomest pieces of shit ever. There are people who love EMACS, and people who love Vim (I like Vim actually), but everyone today uses a real IDE, like Netbeans (I hate it) or at least SublimeTEXT(I love it).
The truth is, you can use something like SublimeTEXT with SublimeREPL plugin and get interactive scripting behavior.
So how is EMACS a barrier? Because when you are a newbie to LISP, and you go looking for information about LISP, the first thing everyone says is: Install EMACS. Most newbies stop reading there. “To hell with that!” they say. EMACS is one of those editors that was a really great idea, 20-30 years ago when computers were way different. The problems that they solved are barely relevant today.
No one uses Macros, no one needs weird navigation with the keyboard. A modern IDE needs clickable tabs, not confusing buffer lists, they need file system tree displays, and project management functions built in, not from some confusing 3rd party lib.
The features an IDE must have:
- Split Layout
- PRegex Find and Replace
- Highlighting and indenting
The features that are nice to have:
- Column Select
- Plugin Architecture
Most modern IDEs have all of these, and more. So if you want to learn LISP, forget about EMACS, EMACS sucks, it sucks clown shoes. People who like EMACS are ugly, and stupid, and they need to wake up and join all of us in the 21st century. However LISP is not ugly, or stupid, and it is already in the 23rd Century.