Subject: Re: Newbie questions
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/05/01
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* "Nir Sullam" <>
| Here in Israel, we have thousands of C/C++ programmers and so the
| newspapers want ads are filled with requests for this kind of
| programmers, BUT never did I see a CLOS / Lisp programmer want ad.

  you're comparing a commodities market with a luxury market.  why?

| If CLOS is so powerfull and (I read that) P Graham sold his software (in
| CLOS) to Yahoo in 49 Million U$, How come CLOS is so obscure in the
| programming community?

  because it's a luxury.

  essentially, any damn fool can pretend to be a C/C++ programmer, as you
  will very quickly find out if you _place_ one of those ads and try to
  sort one or two good guys out from of the liars and incompetent fucks who
  apply for the job.  if you want to apply for jobs where the requirement
  is Common Lisp, you will equally quickly find out that you can't fool
  anyone.  likewise, you can find a job at a hamburger joint without any
  skills whatsoever, but if you want to look at how you produce equipment
  used in hamburger joints that should be simple enough that any unskilled
  person can operate it without causing himself damage or produce bad food,
  you look at the end of the market that Common Lisp is good at helping --
  you don't see many ads for hamburger joint equipment designers, either.

  with all those ads for C/C++, it means companies are _desperate_ to hire
  people who seem to know C/C++.  why do you think this is?  it's because
  C/C++ are job-creating languages.  let's take the development of the
  telephone as an example: initially, there were human operators, and all
  this worked great: but the more people wanted phones, the more people
  were required to be operators, and the companies were scrambling for
  operators, offering a lot of people work.  then better technology came to
  the rescue and released the work force tied up in operators to do other
  necessary tasks.  think of C/C++ programmers are human telephone
  operators -- the more successful they are, the more of them are needed
  (it is no accident the languages come from the biggest telephone company
  in the United States, either).  in contrast, the Common Lisp programmers
  as designers of the automated telephone switching system, and the more
  successful they are, the less investment will be in human operators.

| None of the above can export to EXE in the Windows Environment,

  you're assuming that this is what you will need to produce.  why?

| How do CLOS beginners usually start programming?

  they play with their Lisp environments, and use Emacs as their main
  interface to this environment unless they have a visual something that
  does the same.  it seems that you simply use your tools inefficiently,
  but you should investigate how to interface several powerful tools with
  eachother to make them work as one.  they don't have to come as one form
  the Single Vendor to work as one if they were designed well.  (this may
  well be very foreign to a Microsoft victim. :)

  all programming languages are not alike.  that you have found interest in
  Common Lisp sets you out from the crowd.  don't let the crowd run you
  down just because you have found something much better.  however, it is
  essential to succeeding "on your own" that you can talk to people who
  know how to do it.  the only upside of a commodities market is that lots
  of people use the commodity, and that they can talk a lot among
  themselves.  so try to find people in your community that you can talk to
  about Lisp.  posting here is a great start in this regard.

  oh, by the way, C/C++ are quite interesting languages from a marxist
  point of view, too (it being May 1 and all): they are so bad that any
  professional who wants to do interesting work needs to learn new tools
  all the time and have the employer pay for it.  the means of production
  are thus removed from the hands of the owners into the hands of the
  workers in a very new way.  if the employers were any smart, they would
  not use languages that removed _all_ their investments in their people
  this way, because it is as unhealthy for a market with disproportionate
  power in the hands of employees as it is with disproportionate power in
  the hands of employers.  shortly, therefore, smart employers will figure
  it all out and look for stable, solid languages where programmers don't
  need to be paid to acquire this week's skill set simply in order _not_ to
  quit for the job that requires it...  C/C++ are very bad for business,
  which is another reason why you see so many companies hiring: it's such a
  terrible tool that managers who used to or taught how to manage industry
  will throw people are failing projects.

  advertising is a symptom of insufficient demand or insufficient supply.
  in many ways, competition itself stems from insufficiency in solving a
  problem.  also remember that quality can never compete with quantity.
  please remember this when you use the consequences of competition as a
  measure of success: it never is.  success is when you have no competition
  and you ensure that you match the demand.  then you can go and talk to
  people with a confidence that the desperately competing people can't.  it
  is also sage advice to remain sufficiently above it all that you don't
  become a pawn in the games of the marketers.  in other words: resist the
  temptations of the mass market in any area where it matters to you.