Subject: Re: OS wars and Lisp From: Erik Naggum <email@example.com> Date: 1998/12/16 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> * email@example.com (David Steuber "The Interloper") | One thing I am sure of is that it will take people a lot smarter than I | am to solve this issue. They will have to find ways to overcome the bad | rap that Lisp has among the masses. The only thing I can think of that | can push Lisp back into the mainstream is for mainstream programs to be | written in it. Keeping Lisp in the closet is not the way to make it | popular. my advice is: simply ignore everybody who thinks Lisp has bad rap. popularity is the hall-mark of mediocrity. what needs to be done is simply to make good things and let interested people know and come see. this is completely unrelated to masses, mainstreams, or closets, and it has the disquieting quality that it doesn't have room for more pondering or hesitation or procrastination. it also has the unwelcome property that it is possible to measure the success of the approach by how many people come see. here's something I have done. I designed a new protocol for my client, and held a presentation for a group of top-notch programmers from our customers. the protocol syntax is Common Lisp. nobody complained about parentheses, backslashes, the position of the colon in keywords, the semicolons used as the mark of a non-data response line, lists with the command as the first element, uppercase symbol names -- _none_ of the regular complaints. after a couple hours, all of them were excited about what we could do with this new protocol, and a few good suggestions came in during lunch and when we were shaking hands to leave. it wasn't until some time afterwards that I came to realize that _none_ of the complaints we are _supposed_ to hear about Lisp were raised. I didn't expect them, didn't invite them, and just explained what I had done, so maybe these complaints don't _exist_ unless you invite them. there's a new programmer in my office (I work mostly from home). he had a bunch of really odd questions about Common Lisp, which we agreed came from his complete unfamiliarity with the language. I showed him some code, explained how I had done a few simple things, and he started to talk about textbooks and how it looked like something he would want to learn, and how he had suffered from C++ blindness. that took 10 minutes, and I was already exhausted from working all night to get a working demo for the presentation and from talking for four hours straight. I _really_ don't think people think Lisp is bad unless _you_ appear to be apologetic to begin with. just do good work, and people listen no matter what they thought to begin with. no excuses. no apologies. just do it. #:Erik -- man who cooks while hacking eats food that has died twice.