Subject: Re: cautios question (about languages)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/07/28
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Friedrich Dominicus <>
| first answer: Learn both.  Scheme will let you more easily graps the
| "spirit" of Lisp-Programming;-)

  this reminds me of something.  Scheme people will go out of their way to
  claim that Scheme is a Lisp.  this is like communist dictatorships which
  refer to themselves as "democracies" and people who kill doctors and bomb
  medical clinics and call themselves "pro-life", as if hijacking a nice
  word can make up for the facts.  I just wish Scheme people could be proud
  of what they have instead of being so childish and immature that they can
  only enjoy their little scheming games if they can usurp somebody else's

  but, hey, my first objection to GUILE was that it was a name I'd expect
  from politicians too self-loathing to be proud of what they did, and
  Schemer and Conniver have similar connotations with me¹, strengthened
  after looking at what Scheme people do when you say that Scheme should be
  good enough on its own not to need the Lisp label so it can blame Common
  Lisp for everything when it fails.  you see, "Scheme" is what they call
  their language when they succeed.  when they fail, they call it "Lisp".
  for as long as I have been watching Scheme people, they have contributed
  much more to the bad name that "Lisp" has than to the good name that they
  think "Scheme" has by unloading all their misery on the "Lisp" name.  so
  look out for people who object to Common Lisp because they once got
  burned on a Scheme project, or learned Scheme from a bad teacher who
  insisted that Scheme is the only true Lisp.  scheming bastards, indeed.

  (this article contains 240% of the RDA of cynicism.  please limit your
  intake if you feel irritated.  prolonged exposure may also cause anger.)

¹ like FORTH was called just that because the IBM system on which the
  author worked had only five letters available in compiler names, not the
  six he needed to name his fourth language, SCHEME comes from a similar
  limit of six characters unable to hold the name "SCHEMER", which was the
  sequel to "CONNIVER", which followed the normal, boring name "PLANNER" --
  all projects within the AI community.
  suppose we blasted all politicians into space.
  would the SETI project find even one of them?