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      than writing a Prolog, ML, or whatever.

      Prolog is homoiconic as well.

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      Sometimes I feel like the only one who sees Lisp for what it is, a low level but universal assembly language.

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        Is there a reason one cannot parse a JS string into a simple-ish JavaScript AST object, and vice versa? It seems like if the parser were written in a simple / reasonable way, one could also extend it with a macro system.

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          I don’t have any experience with them, but implementations of ASTs for JavaScript exist… https://astexplorer.net/ http://jointjs.com/demos/javascript-ast … also macros! http://sweetjs.org/