Subject: Re: With friends like Erik, c.l.l doesn't need enemies
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/09/28
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Dobes Vandermeer <>
| In my experience things benefit from popularity, and the case you
| describe happens less often.

  it's a law in economics (which means just a self-reinforcing opinion)
  that high production volume is incompatible with high quality.  certain
  properties of what we call high quality cost more the higher the volume,
  while certrain properties cost less the higher the volume.  e.g., any
  aspect of the quality that involves human interaction has to go when the
  volume becomes high enough.

| Take computers as the most obvious example...

  great example!  all the really nice CPU's are relegated to fringe
  markets, and instead we have Intel all over the place.  because of
  Intel's popularity, they have had to maintain backward compatibility
  with the first 8086 and not only through every step, but globally.

| Of course, computers are a cliche example, but I hope you can see what I
| mean.

  of course, you focus on the properties that survive popularity and are
  happy with them.  I look at what went by the wayside.  that's because I
  take the quality view, and I like Common Lisp.  if we were to take your
  view, Lisp would be dead (if you're searching the Net, I'm refuting it)
  and we should be happy with whatever is most popular.  I don't think this
  is a valid argument.

| Are you arguing that my mesaurement of newsgroups volume was invalid, or
| that lisp is in fact popular?  I'll be the first to admit that the amount
| of traffic on a newsgroup isn't the best measure of popularity.

  newsgroup volume is a measure of discontent.

| On what do you base your view that comp.lang.c++ is all about bad things
| in the language?

  because people don't understand the language and need help with even the
  simplest things, despite a plethora of literature and courses.  (now,
  tell me again why lots and lots of C++ _books_ aren't proving that
  popularity lowers the quality threshold to entrance to the market...)

| If you are referring to the way that people often run into difficulties
| using some of the myriad of C++ language features (which I'll admit tend
| to lead to trouble) then I would suggest that similar posts happen here,
| although with less volume.

  the relevant issue is the relative volume.

| The messages on comp.lang.lisp are not so different; depending on your
| background many of the features of lisp can be surprising and confusing,
| even if lisp is more orthogonal.

  you can always find _some_ similarities.  the question is whether they
  are relevant.