Subject: Re: ISO/IEC CD 13816 -- ISLisp
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1995/12/22
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

[Erik Naggum]

|   I find ISLisp a depressing development.  it appears unnecessary, and it
|   is gratuitously different from Common Lisp.  have you failed to realize
|   that Lispers are facing people who want nothing stronger than to
|   ridicule Lisp because they don't understand it and so don't want to use
|   it?  what better weapon to give them than to point out that even
|   Lispers don't want to talk each others' languages?

[MAEDA Atusi] (supercite undone)

|   Do you mean you want single standard, instead of several parallel
|   standards (as we have now)?

I'm curious which "several parallel standards" you mean.  is it IEEE Scheme
and ANSI Common Lisp?  as far as I'm concerned, that's one, single standard
for _each_ of those languages.  in this sense, I already have what I want.

|   Then that's what ISLisp is intended to be.

do you mean that ISLisp will cause IEEE Scheme and ANSI Common Lisp to go
away?  that's an amazing attitude.  unless it takes important steps to the
contrary, ISLisp will clutter up the Lisp world even _more_ than the
current set of standard and non-standard Lisps do.  (see my followup to
Fernando D. Mato Mira for a suggestion.)

when Unicode was marketed at the heaviest, they also clamored on about how
Unicode would be the new "single standard, instead of several parallel
standards" for character representation.  what happened?  we got _another_
parallel standard for character representation, and then Unicode went into
a phase of random cell division and now we have numerous kinds of Unicode.

|   Or are you asking for accepting Common Lisp (or one of other existing
|   standards) as international standard?

of course I'm asking that instead of going ahead to create yet another Lisp
standard, we use the one that successfully became a standard.

|   If the standard, as a result of deep arguments on individual features,
|   eventually becomes exactly the same as Common Lisp, then that's fine.
|   I'm willing to accept it.  But I don't think modification is
|   automatically a bad thing.

"modification" is neutral.  the _reason_ for making modifications may be
good or bad.  a change may be an improvement with a strong consensus behind
it, one that users have essentially already adopted and are just waiting
for their standard to reflect.  a change may also be a gratuitous departure
from the past and the consensus among users.  ISLisp represents the latter
in the areas where it does not do useful invention (like the way it treats
dynamic binding), but invention in committees is not building a consensus,
it's an attempt to force something down someone's throat, however immature.
(this latter point is unfortunatly true of many standards in information
technology published in the last few years.)

#<Erik 3028579343>
suppose we actually were immortal...
what is the opposite of living your life as if every day were your last?