Subject: Re: Thoughts on Franz Inc., ACL pricing, etc.
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1997/03/28
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Cyber Surfer
| Does ACL/PC support deliver in DLLs?  No, it does not.  Franz admit that,
| even if you do not.

should I "admit" something?  who are you kidding?  you know, I think "DLL"
is just your current excuse.  if Franz comes around and provides us with a
DLL for Common Lisp and a DLL builder that can exploit it, I'm 99% certain
that you will _still_ bring "bad news" and find some other show-stopper for
your needs.

| The Standard Version doesn't deliver stand alone programs.  Ask Franz.

look, I had a Professional version of Allegro for Windows installed at
client's site.  I know reasonably well what both can and cannot do.

| As I said, it can't do something that a C++ system can do, and in this
| case, at half the price.  Like or not, but some people care about such
| things.

my computer can't make hot water for my coffee in the morning, yet it costs
about 300 times as much as the water heater.  bum deal, huh?

| In other words, I'll be wasting a lot of money on a fabulous tool that I
| can't use professionally, because I'm asked to write code that it can't
| produce, i.e. DLLs.

this is quite odd.  Emacs cannot make stand-alone binaries, yet anybody who
watches me work would see that I work only in Emacs and yet I produce a
stand-alone binary every now again.  what does it take to build a DLL?
could you fruitfully have used Lisp as part of the process?

| I'm expected to [use] C/C++ or Java, because these are the tools that my
| colleagues use.  Now, if this unusual, then I might dismiss it as a case
| of bad luck, and perhaps look for another job.

I don't claim to know The Market According to Gates, but there are others.
I went out of my way to locate other markets, and they're there allright.
I discovered that it isn't all that difficult to have people fork over the
money for the Unix version of Allegro.  if I save only a day's of work if a
client buys the Standard version of Allegro for Windows, we'd break even.
if I save a week of time, we'd break even with the Professional version.
should I save more than this, it's net earnings.

my current Lisp project uses Allegro for Windows and it has proved so hard
that it would be impossible to do it in C++ and my client would have
scrapped the project and hired more people to do the work manually.  we'll
be installing a working version on April 3.  in the process, I've been
through more research (= failed experiments, to be honest) than I would
have managed in as many years as I have used months should I have used C++.

| Alas, it isn't at all unusual.  Your meme appears to be that it is
| unusual.

NO!  dammit!  pay attention, will you?  all I'm saying is that the market
you consistently deny that exists, does in fact exist and that it is not
hard to enter it, nor is it very hard to convince people to let you use
Lisp if you know what you're doing.

| Remember, I didn't say that this was the case for _Lisp_.  I'm saying
| that's the case for the vast majority of Windows developers.

I know this is a family newsgroup, but fuck the majority!  you aren't the
majority, Martin, and neither is any other individual.  each of us is the
ultimate minority.  as long as we are a healthy community in which we can
get work done and enlighten each other, who the hell cares how many there
are of the others?  the majority of people on this planet do not speak
English.  help!  help!  what are we gonna _do_?  drop English now!

| Don't tell me, I _want_ Lisp.  It's the people who don't want it that are
| the problem.  I'm not your enemy, Erik, just the guy with the bad news.
| Please don't shoot the messenger.

if you can't shoot him, what good is a messenger?  (I have worked with a
few newspapers and a good number of journalists over the years, and I
believe the saying "don't shoot the messenger" was invented by a journalist
union leader to save his own miserable hide.)

seriously, we have received your message.  there's no need to resend it.

| I know.  I agree.  It doesn't help me, or anyone else.  Tell _MS_.  Tell
| Borland.  Tell Symantec.  Stop their marketing people from selling us C++
| memes.  We choose Lisp, while the majority of programmers still choose
| C++, Java, and VB.

seems that marketing people could take lessons from you.  you actually
believe only what you are served from the marketing sources, don't you?
didn't your mom tell you to wear meme-resistant gear when it rains lies and

seriously, the majority is always fundamentally irrelevant for anybody who
is not going into politics or marketing.  if you are, please say so, but
you give the impression sometimes of being a programmer.  what the majority
does or does not do should not concern you.  you don't have a responsiblity
to make the lies of the marketing staffs and the politicians come true.

| > exempli gratia: implement `apply' in C++. 
| Why?  I don't have time to do that, I have work to do that I'm paid to
| do.

I'm stunned.  you can't implement `apply' in C++.  that should have been
pretty darn obvious by now.

| Please give me credit for knowing my job.

why?  I don't know anything about your work other than you seem to be hired
to program in C++ and hate your job, yet won't do diddly to change it.

| Anyway, if this problem was unique to me, we wouldn't be discussing this,
| as the majority of programmes would be using Lisp, and as I've chosen
| Lisp, that's what I'd be using.

why this obsession with the majority, Martin?  does it make your whining
any less irrational if you can point to a lot of other people as an excuse
for not going your own way?  if you can be in at least one minority, what's
the point of being alive?  why, join the majority of dead people!

| You don't have to convince me, I'm not your enemy.

yes, you are.  you bring nothing but bad news, and I don't need that.

| He's sympathetic, and yet he still can't change the world.

I change the world every day.  you don't notice it, of course, but neither
does a buddhist monk in Tibet notice the decisions made by Bill Gates.

the only world you _can_ change is your own.

if _you_ won't start with yourself, who will?

| People need to deliver software, and at a "reasonable" price.  We may not
| like the way that they do it, but some of us will have to work with it.

if you deliver end-user applications, the language has no bearing on what
you do.  if you don't deliver end-user applications, you don't have to
deliver applications at a reasonable price.  in what way is this wrong?

| I'm simply being pragmatic.

of all the things you are, "pragmatic" is the least likely option.  if you
were pragmatic, you would have acquired a Lisp system and used it to show
your boss or anyone else that you could be more productive with it than
without and then you would be able to write more and more Lisp code.

| I wish I could afford to be dogmatic, and insist on using Lisp.

but you _are_ dogmatic and insist upon _not_ using Lisp!

| If you have a random sample of Windows developers who use Lisp instead of
| C++, Delphi, VB, etc, then I'd like to know where such a random sample
| may be found, and why nobody else knows about them.  If there's a
| conspiracy, then we should expose it.  Please help me, as I'd love to do
| this, if it's possible.

I'm going to work on a project for the European Union starting in May.  we
will write it in Common Lisp, using CLOS for a lot of the hairy stuff that
C++ can't do.  it will require SGML and Hytime expertise and will involve a
lot of people and a _lot_ of time.  I'm not going to let you near it, nor
tell you about it in detail, because I don't want a person as negative as
you are on the team.

if there is a conspiracy, I'd say it's one that aims to keep people who
only bring bad news about Lisp out of the lab and out of sight.

there, back in the score file!  no more bad news for a while.  whew!

I'm no longer young enough to know everything.