Subject: Re: Is LISP dying?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/07/22
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp,comp.lang.forth
Message-ID: <>

* Michael Coughlin <>
| The GNU C/C++ compiler is carefully designed to prove a political
| opinion.  Those who created it know that coprighting software and keeping
| source code secret is an impediment to the use of computers.  They turned
| the practice of commercial software companies on its head.  After many
| years of work, these people are finally getting their point across.
| Eventually we'll see the only software worth using comes with
| unencumbered source code.

  yeah, and written in languages and sub-languages so hard to understand
  that it doesn't matter that the source is free, or written in special
  dialects that can only be compiled by the compiler itself, or written
  using so much magic that nobody dares touch it, however open it is.

  remember, if people are going to get paid to offer commercial support
  instead of for the product or the license to the product, they'll make
  sure you need the support and that the authors are the only people who
  can make any useful contributions.

| And nobody has tried enough possibilities yet to find the ones that have
| lasting value.

  why are you so sure abou this?  it is in the best interest of people who
  desire users to make something _appear_ new, and if you need programmers
  to get excited about your new free software project, what better way to
  get them interested than to re-package some old stuff in maringally new
  ways that can't be used with the rest of the old stuff?  take a good look
  at what the industry accepts as "invention" these days, and shudder.
  free software will not change this, it will only redirect the efforts to
  and the means of appearing new and attractive.

  the problem with all these fancy predictions about how new technology and
  a slight change in licensing terms will change the world is that they
  ignore the mediocre people and anyone out to make a quick buck.  and the
  really the sad thing is that you don't allow mediocre people and quick
  bucks, you won't get the system booted.  most of the hype about what will
  happen in the future of free software and free access to everything is
  based on the pipe dream that in the future, the stupid people have ceased
  to provide the bread and butter of a society, and only smart, idealistic
  people remain.  but we still need people to farm the land, dig wells,
  keep all the electric wires and fibers operational, and take care of the
  refuse of human society, and they will want computers, too.  as long as
  this mass market of non-programmers exists, there will be providers who
  think in terms of units sold.  even with his shadowy soul and psychotic
  paranoid destructiveness, Bill Gates has at least got that part right.

@1999-07-22T00:37:33Z -- pi billion seconds since the turn of the century