Subject: Re: Reasons for rejecting Lisp (was Re: Newbie questions [Followup to   comp.lang.lisp])
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/05/08
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Kent M Pitman <>
| At some point maybe they'll add the feature too, or maybe they'll lose
| customers.  That's the way the market works.  The market is intentionally
| and appropriately pluralistic.  Saying that some implementation doesn't
| suit your need is just saying you should be shopping; saying no
| implementation suits your need is just saying there's a market
| opportunity waiting for you.

  this assumes that the issue in question is sufficiently important that
  the open market will be where the decisions are made.  I'm wary of the
  call for the market to decide issues that are generally irrelevant -- it
  would mean I had to choose from a million different products and would
  spend more time figuring out which irrelevant feature was supported by
  which miniscule vendor's product than it would take to build it on my own
  -- sort of like how the Microsoft third-party market works for people who
  cannot or legitimate refuse to program the incredible insanity Microsoft
  calls products.  to get to the point where the market can satisfy all
  sorts of small issues would mean such a huge demand for stupid things
  that _any_ small issue would get attention.  I don't want a world like
  that.  it's one of the many reasons I don't subscribe to the Microsoft
  world view and its model of competition between umpteen broken things
  that have to be so cheap to make because of the fierce competition they
  could not possibly be of any quality.

  neither competition nor the market are any better than the customers and
  their decisions.  I think the Jenny Jones case is relevant in this regard
  -- to pick randomly from the current news.  there's a _huge_ market for
  talk shows that drag people's personal life into the public despite the
  many bad consequences and the many good reasons not to air such shows.
  the people who ensure that this market exists are ultimately the viewers
  who buy the products that are advertised during those shows, which means
  that the shows exist because of business decisions of the advertisers.
  there are similar remote relationships between most products and their
  markets, and most of the interrelationships between market and marketing
  are amazingly unpalatable and even downright ugly, and the more mass
  market you get, the uglier it gets.

  I'm frankly not sure it's a good idea to call forth these forces without
  a very good grasp of the repercussions.  I prefer to work with the people
  who have already done some significant amount of good work over going off
  and do my own thing (create a new market), or choose somebody else.  only
  if my current vendor does something really stupid that I cannot live with
  will I feel like going elsewhere.  this obviously holds only for products
  whose acquisition carries a meaningful investment with them -- like
  learning to use them or the relationship with the developers.  should the
  acquisition be free of such investment, the cost of choosing something
  else will be low enough that the market will begin to work for small
  issues.  otherwise, it will work only for issues larger than the cost of
  changing product.  and do we really want a competition between products
  so similar that any small issue will be bigger than the cost of changing?