Subject: Re: a searchable index to the Common Lisp standard
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/02/03
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Kent M Pitman <>
| Nevertheless, you're right that there are a wealth of very usable online
| documents for Lisp, and it's surprising that the other languages don't
| have such things.
| Maybe it's harder to make such things in other languages.
| ;-)

  it could also be that people using other languages don't care quite so
  much about the language as such.  for instance, we have seen a lot of
  heat about Common Lisp not having a standard socket library and such, but
  nobody in their right mind would accuse C of not having the same, despite
  availability of socket libraries in all Common Lisp and C implementations
  alike.  obviously, these people aren't just interested in having some
  piece of code "work" or "do the job" in the Perl sense, and are therefore
  more likely to want to know what the real thing says.

  I'm not so certain about the size of the book market for Lisp books, and
  whether the relatively small market contributes to the above, or whether
  the above contributes to the small market.  however, the need for books
  that explain _all_ parts of Common Lisp is not at all satisfied.  I have
  myself spent countless hours merely studying how things were supposed to
  be used from the HyperSpec and reading up on old literature and sometimes
  even talking with other Lispers.

  for instance, a friend of mine who has used Common Lisp since CLtL1 came
  out didn't know about PPRINT-DISPATCH.  I had stumbled upon it when being
  intensely dissatisfied with the same data having four slightly different
  shapes depending on the recipient and that got translated into a lot of
  hairy code.  there had to be a better way, and that turned out to be the
  pretty printer.  it was great fun to tell him about it.

  SIGTHTBABW: a signal sent from Unix to its programmers at random
  intervals to make them remember that There Has To Be A Better Way.