Subject: Re: Lisp is alive
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1996/09/29
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

[Raymond Toy]

|   Having things change on the archive would make Lisp appear alive and
|   well.  As it is, it looks rather dead.

I'm sympathetic to your arguments, but I ran the SGML Repository at the
University of Oslo for nearly six years, five of which with a significant
impact in my own wallet, and I have another take on repositories going
stale, and I can sum it up in one word: abuse.  Provide something for free,
and certain classes of users (let's call them "freshmen at life in general"
and "recently graduated MBAs") will utterly fail to appreciate the nature
and needs of a free resource.  Both will "require" some level of service,
and both will feel free to steal whatever is there and re-market it.

I have come to believe that free net resources exist as long as there is
academic interest in a subject.  When the interest reaches commercially
viable levels, (1) people won't put commercially viable things there when
they could have sold it, and (2) those who run them aren't likely to
provide commercial enterprises with free marketing, anyway.

In any case, if the maintenance of a respository of any useful size is not
well-funded, it requires _very_ dedicated people.  Very dedicated people
who create something that is recognized to be universally useful will get
significantly de-motivated when they seek funding from the user community
and they get turned down.

This may not reflect the fate of the CMU Lisp Repository, but the reason a
repository goes stale may in fact be _increased_ interest, not reduced.

Those who do not know Lisp are doomed to reimplement it.