Subject: Re: Limitations? From: Erik Naggum <email@example.com> Date: 1998/09/13 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> * Steve Gonedes <email@example.com> | The most problematic `limitation' that I think CL seems to face is one of | efficiency. While CL is anything but inefficient, when I write a program | I still, at times (knowing the time seems to be the trick), worry at | about this efficiency (this may not be true of others of course). and even this is no limitation once you learn to operate a profiler. :) | Aside from these perhaps, `temporary annoyances', lisp seems to lack an | incredible number of built in limitations. I was wondering if anyone | thought that this `lack of limitations' could possibly be why lisp is not | `popular'? a very insightful observation. | I say this because the more limitations that something has, the more | predictable it seems (at least to me it does). Does anyone think that | Lisp is unpredictable in terms of how successful an outcome can be? It | seems like it could be hard to know how successful a project could be if | you don't know what limitations you already have. I'm really saying | unpredictable because I don't know what other `fears' that a lack of | limitations could impose a person. when something is perceived to have far fewer limitations than oneself, all sorts of emotions fill people: awe, intimidation, inferiority, insecurity, etc. we frequently see this in movies and the literature and even TV shows that try to portray the future: that which is massively smarter than us is supposed to instill emotions that are really _very_ counter-productive, as if we would suddenly become _useless_ to a smarter race, for instance, nothing more than slaves or foodstuff at worst. I don't share this view. (matter of fact, I think mankind are slaves to stupidity, instead. imagine a world where TV commercials didn't work on people! but I digress.) most _religions_ are based on something that has far fewer limitations than ourselves: omnipotence, omnipresence, etc, and yet we're supposed to _fear_ the gods. I don't get it. it would be ultra-cool to meet a god. anyway, part of Common Lisp's attraction to me is that what limitations there are can be overcome, so programming in Common Lisp keeps me on my toes. I love it. (not that there haven't been a lot of frustrations, but they have all been resolved after a short while. my frustrations with C and C++ only only grew worse over time, and didn't resolve.) I'm sure the old saying "I don't like compilers that are smarter than I am" is related to the "lack of limitations" idea. again, good thinking! #:Erik -- http://www.naggum.no/spam.html is about my spam protection scheme and how to guarantee that you reach me. in brief: if you reply to a news article of mine, be sure to include an In-Reply-To or References header with the message-ID of that message in it. otherwise, you need to read that page.