Subject: Re: help! absolute beginner
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1998/12/20
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* (Sudhir Shenoy)
| On a related note, this is probably why we have a constant stream of
| newbie questions on comp.lang.lisp.  There is no publicly available
| code in Lisp which does useful common tasks.

  if there were, the newbies would only ask different questions.

| When I was learning Lisp, I looked in vain for a regexp matcher.

  this is one reason why I'm using and favoring commercial Lisp systems.
  it was there for the picking in the previous release, and had a pretty
  nice interface.  it's included by default, now.  it's because you
  insisted on free software that you had to reinvent the wheel.  this
  happens a lot, and I find it immensely ironic.  also note that the whole
  free software plan _was_ to rewrite the wheel so it could be free.  when
  they can't keep up with the commercial world, and commercial users can
  get access to better source, it's time to reassess the goals and whether
  it is still worth pursuing them, or to declare _victory_ in that source
  is now more easily accessible, thanks in large part to user expectations
  that they should be and in large part to the complexity of software so it
  doesn't make sense to ask people to pay for finding bugs -- it makes more
  sense to reward them for fixing them for you.

  the world has changed since the free software movement started.  I think
  the free software movement should realize that people aren't as much
  their enemies as they used to be, and find ways to be less combative
  where there is actually grounds for cooperation.

  instead, we get "non-free software is bad" from some quarters who have
  learned _nothing_ about the purpose of the protest and how to measure the
  success thereof.  *sigh*

  Attention, Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee!  We have
  intercepted a coded transmission from Bill Clinton to Saddam Hussein that
  puts your life in jeopardy.  Clinton is prepared to cease fire if all of
  you are killed by Iraqi terrorists, whom he won't prosecute.  Be warned!