Subject: Re: A modest proposal (long)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 2000/03/02
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Erann Gat
| Pretty hard, apparently.  My first choice would have been to add (declare
| (lexical ...))  But that was tried and rejected be people who understand
| the problem much better than I do.

  proposals are rejected or adopted in context.  if a good idea is served
  alone or in a context that is not conducive to furthering principles that
  are valued higher by others than some small improvement, it will, as it
  should, be rejected.  how can _anyone_ have a problem understanding this?
  have you never proposed something, had it rejected, then seen it picked
  up by others only to be adopted?  this is clearly not because people hate
  you, but because you didn't do your homework, and somebody else did.

| Thank God we have Erik to guide us to worthwhile problems!

  huh?  were you _consciously_ trying to guide us to a _worthless_ problem,
  or is it wrong for _me_ to guide to worthwhile problems, while _you_ can
  pick worthwhile problems at will?  no wonder your proposals don't get
  accepted if this is how you deal with contributions.  sheesh!

| >   and IMNSHO, it isn't bad at all.  I have pointed out that we need a few
| >   accessors into the environment to solve your uncertainty problem, and
| >   perhaps we need a `notspecial' or `lexical' declaration to be able to
| >   undo the pervasive effects of the `special' declaration
| Like I said, this was proposed and rejected.  Why beat a dead horse?

  I feel like I'm spoonfeeding a child.  it's because it's a question of
  getting agreement among people who have already made up their mind about
  a number of issues you may not know about, and this means you must not
  piss people off with pure _drivel_.  as I have strongly indicated, your
  inclusion of silly new syntax is a _good_ reason to reject all of your
  proposal.  like the old saying goes, with all this shit, there must be a
  pony somewhere, take away the crud, and what's left may not be a dead
  horse.  but feel free to blame somebody for your failure to get agreement.

| And I care so much about the language that I'm unwilling to drop the
| matter just because some arrogant self-appointed guru says I should.

  oh, geez, get _over_ yourself.  what's this, the emperor's new argument?
  who do you think you're fooling?

  isn't it just _too_ odd how often some doofus "self-appoints" someone
  _else_ to some status to which they themselves would never actually
  _self_-appoint themselves?  what's the point with such dishonesty and
  such incredible silly behavior as to pretend that others _self_-appoint
  themselves when in fact there's a lunatic at large who does both the
  appointing and the accusation of such appointing all by himself?
  whatever is _wrong_ with you?  you've come up with a bunch of really bad
  thinking and it must be shot down fast before you revamp the whole
  language, but still, there are a few good things in there and there's
  some work that can be turned into productive ideas and proposals, but
  what do you do?  you're only being silly and negative and concentrate on
  dead horses and rejection.  and now you're out picking a silly fight?
  what's the _point_ with this?  pull yourself _together_, damnit!

| BTW, why would adding a LEXICAL declaration be any less disruptive than
| allowing variable names of the form (special X)?  The vendors would still
| have to change their implementations to support it.  Unlike other
| declarations, you can't ignore SPECIAL/LEXICAL declarations and still
| preserve correct semantics.  This fact alone indicates that declarations
| are the wrong place for this information.

  well, I don't generally and didn't now make just one big proposal and
  feel personally defeated when it was rejected as a silly idea.  believe
  it or not, but I have tried to figure out what would completely supersede
  your silly idea such that even you would be happier with the solution.
  this, however, is doomed to fail miserably as long as you only take the
  negative views on everything, completely ignore the good stuff (notice
  that I don't) I say, and huff and puff a lot instead of trying to solve
  the _problem_ you have, the _adopted_ solution to which is very unlikely
  to be whatever you dreamt up to begin with, anyway.  you're not being
  constructive about this at all.  that annoys me to no end, because you
  raise issues that need to be resolved, and the way you go about it, it's
  unlikely that we will very find the consensus to resolve them.  again,
  pull yourself together, damnit!

| > | Works the way I'd expect it to.
| > 
| >   so try typing in (setf (readtable-case *readtable*) :upcase) and tell me
| >   what you expect to happen and/or that this is not a useful thing to do.
| >   (note again that this is no longer a question of special variables.)
| I would expect to have to hold down the shift-lock key before I could
| set the readtable case back to upcase.  Honestly, I don't see the problem
| here.

  OK, could you explain why it is unreasonable to think that holding down
  the shift key while typing that line in is a _misfeature_?  can you
  explain why it is unreasonable to give a conforming Common Lisp system
  the ability to deal with :preserve _and_ lower-case, like beginners and
  experts alike see in all the textbooks and examples on the Net and which
  they have come to expect from _other_ languages they use?

  I'm doing this also as an experiment to see if you can at all relate to
  what other people tell you about their problems, since I have evidence
  that you have a very hard time dealing with stuff you don't dream up on
  your own, and if you can at least show that you can wrap your head around
  another problematic issue, there might be grounds for figuring out what
  would _really_ solve your other problems, without _having_ to accept your
  proposals verbatim.  as I said, you have raised certain relevant issues
  that I think are quite important, but only to be met with childish
  bickering and an _incredibly_ stupid "self-appointed guru", instead of a
  desire to help resolve the parts of your concerns that others respond
  _well_ to.  I could do without the rampant stupidity, so what _is_ your
  problem?  exercise some mental _focus_, dude!