Subject: Re: superior(?) programming languages From: Erik Naggum <email@example.com> Date: 1996/12/17 Newsgroups: comp.arch,comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> * Cyber Surfer | Excuse me, but I think I know my clients rather better than you do. no doubt, but we all know they are clients who don't want solutions, they want to make decisions about random factors of the implementation, ... | They don't give a shit about Lisp, but they do care about a great many | other things, like image size. ... like image size. | I've no use for EVAL. I've never used it in any of my code, nor I expect | to ever do so. can you think of Emacs without `eval'? or indeed any other Lisp system? I rely on `eval' like nothing else in the Lisp systems I use. | Did you see the figures for code sizes that I posted? | Can you deny that EVAL was so much larger than anything else in Gambit C? | Can you convince me that I really need all this code? how the hell is anybody supposed to know what a figure like that means? your numbers are _literally_ meaningless. like most statistics, they are presented as if numbers alone had meaning. like anybody who has even an inkling of understanding of statistics knows, it's what you have measured that give the meaning, not the (numerical) measurement. | Forgive me if I'm misrepresenting you, but it often seems to me that your | argument is that everyone can and should use Lisp, regardless of what | anyone else thinks. If somebody would like to pay me to write Lisp, | instead of Windows, software... first, there is a very fundamental difference between rejecting invalid arguments and embracing the opposite of an invalid argument, whatever that might be. you don't seem to understand this difference very well. just because you offer so many invalid arguments and so much bullshit about how hard Lisp is for your sorry case, and I object and reject them, does not mean that any more of your invalid arguments, this time about what I think, magically become true. you're illogical and irrational. that annoys me, more so when you don't seem to recognize that more than just your arguments are being rejected -- the entire set of premises from which you draw them is being rejected. second, there is nothing more destructive in a community of professionals than the sickening tendency among people of lesser integrity to consider _first_ what other people might think, _then_ what might be possible. I make my living on the premise that the reverse order is the only valid one, and frequently forget what other people might think. sometimes it takes a lot of effort to ignore other people's objections, however. third, "somebody" doesn't just call you up, saying "we'd like to pay you to write Lisp". they call you up to ask for your assistance on a hard problem, they listen to your suggestions and accept your design if you can present it credibly, they are willing to fork over a lot of money for a license to a supported, commercial Lisp development environment if you present the case for it, but only if you present the case for it, and they leave you alone for a month or five while you work out the magic. but you don't get called like that just by sitting in your uncomfortable office chair, writing Windows applications and airing your frustrations on comp.lang.lisp -- I sure as hell wouldn't call you with an offer to work on a Lisp project. it takes real-life effort, and may put tens of thousands of pounds of your personal income on the line, in saying "this can save us much more than it costs and much more than any alternative", and actually prove it. | If there's a way of satisfying them by using Lisp, then I'll be very | interested. However, I don't start by choosing Lisp, and then looking for | clients to write code for. Perhaps you're more fortunate than I am... perhaps I just work harder at it than you do. perhaps I work on problems that can't be solved in a realistic time frame in any other language than Common Lisp and within a large Common Lisp system. perhaps this has cost me three years of basically living off of writing articles and giving lectures instead of programming. perhaps I succeed in what I want because I don't waste my time and brain prostituting myself on Windows and Visual whatever? perhaps I got so sick and tired of programming in stupid languages like C and C++ that I wanted to sit down and invent my own language, build up my own support organization and try to sell it to others. or I could find a language that gave me all I needed, and as soon as I found a client who was interested in more than trivial solutions, have them fund my acquisition of tools from somebody who had already invented and implemented such a language. I chose the latter. nonetheless, I enjoy nitty-gritty details of implementation, _ONCE_. I'd like to do things only until I learn to do them expertly, then move on. | I'm not dogmatic about using Lisp, or defining what it is or isn't. the net effect is that you're not programming in Lisp for any clients. you can use whatever reasons you want to defend this position, if you think it needs defending (and if my recollection of your postings here for the past few months is correct, you portray a tremendous need to defend yourself and your position). my impression is indeed that you are dogmatic about Lisp, but not positively so, _negatively_ so: you repeat and stress how Lisp is never the right solution for you, despite repeated examples and much assistance to the contrary. this is very, very annoying. instead of concluding that "Lisp is not right for the jobs that Cyber Surfer does", the conclusion becomes "Cyber Surfer is not right or the jobs that Cyber Surfer does". I would never hire you for your newspostings. several people _have_ hired me for my newspostings. I'm no longer interested in understanding why you hold the positions you do, because I have yet to find any actually _constructive_ part to your whining. also, I have proven that with a much effort and with a braveness that I look back upon in awe -- I put much more on the line than I ever realized -- I have managed to land two contracts that bring me out of the Lisp wannabe camp, and right into the middle of a breakneck action movie. I haven't had so much fun in many, many years. I don't know if I will come out of this on top, but for the first time in at least five years, I can say to myself "I want to be a programmer and I think I can make it". and by "a programmer" I don't mean an assembly line worker who churns out C or C++ or any of that shit. I want to build large structures and systems, not just line up a lot of new copies of the same old stuff side by side and call that a career. now I think I can pull it off, but I couldn't do it without a major Lisp vendor giving me unparalleled moral and technical support, and I couldn't do it without clients who really understand and listen to what I have presented to them. incidentally, most of this has happened in the past couple months, with _years_ of preparation on my part. maybe I have just been very fortunate, but I don't think these things just happen. still, I'm deeply grateful to the people who make it possible for me to enjoy programming for pay, again -- this time in a language that lets me think hard about hard issues, not waste all my time on trivial things. #\Erik -- users should be computer-friendly.