Subject: Re: ACL 6.0 Trial Edition ships with non ANSI reader behavior.
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 2000/11/11
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* David Bakhash <>
| while I agree with you that cautionary meansures are never a bad
| thing, I am seriously starting to question _your_ ethics, and given
| this information, would _not_ want to do business with any company
| where you were anything but a programmer.

  What makes you think anyone wants to do business with _you_, David?

  What is the principle that drives your ethics?  I think it's "be nice
  to people" or something equally sappy.  Business ethics is not like
  that.  You don't survive if you're nice, and you are exploited if you
  are too nice.  I think you feel that you are being screwed because you
  .noscripthide { display:none; } .noscriptinline { display:inline; } .noscriptblock { display:block; }
  you absolutely no good in the long run.  It is somewhat sad that you
  had your first brush with this reality with a decent company.  I've
  had mine with real scumbags I had to defeat in court even to get paid
  and then there's the insanely power-crazed people who have supposedly
  been tasked with collecting money for the government with tactics that
  makes _any_ organized crime outfit look like the boy scouts.  Franz
  Inc are not _easily_ "defeatible" in negotiations, but they also do
  not want to lose their customers.  If the customers fail to grasp that
  they have power in such negotiations, who could possibly be blamed for
  this if not the customer's incompetent and inexperienced management?
  If the customer fails to realize that the world will always change in
  unexpected ways and is unprepared to deal with it, blaming anyone else
  is not going to win them any support.  If the customer makes the
  choice not to negotiate, but accepts the initial terms because it
  would "cost too much" to negotiate, then that's sound business sense
  the most inconvenient times in our lives -- and you're judged by how
  well you do in precisely such situations.  E.g., Franz Inc faced a new
  reality where server-based applications took over from shipping boxes
  with products, especially since they had priced the latter and not the
  former, but they did have the foresight to have been able to determine
  the conditions under which they could set new terms.  Since their many
  customers had agreed to this, this is all a question of being able to
  deal with licenses and contracts.  I have found (in my work) that it
  does not matter _what_ you do, if you cannot deal with legal issues
  like contractual requirements, intellectual property rights, etc.  To
  stay within the law so you can actually win in court is not trivial,
  but being able to use power of the legal system is such a _pacifier_
  in dealing with business people.

  When it comes to ethics, which you invoke a little too often for even
  my comfort, there is the very, very _unethical_ behavior of accusing
  someone falsely for something which they have not in fact done, but
  which you attribute to them because it would make your black-and-white
  ethics fit the world a little better.  In my view, there is nothing
  worse than the willingness to engage in false accusations which have
  as their main effect to simplify the accuser's ethical world-view.

  Franz Inc has displayed a staggeringly cavalier attitude towards the
  standard, not just via John, but the standard is a _specification_ and
  the ability to program faithfully and completely to one specification
  is fundamental to trusting people to implement and execute any other
  specification, such as contract law, license terms, etc.  The law is
  both the standard and the programming language of society, and once
  you start to think you can do anything you want because you're smarter
  than the specification or that the specification is _wrong_, you have
  moved yourself outside of a world of responsibility.  The funny thing,
  relative to what you keep arguing about, David, is that Franz Inc's
  attitude to the standard is a much, much more serious signal that they
  don't really give a damn about specifications they cannot be forced to
  follow, but with the ones they _can_ be forced to keep, like the law
  and good business practices, they do comply a lot better.  That's why
  I think their inability and/or unwillingness to base their operation
  first on compliance with the standard is a sign that what we see in
  the business area may be early symptoms of a deep-rooted disrespect
  for the society in which they are based.  Anti-community attitudes do
  not start with the most serious aspects, but rather must be found in
  the seemingly insignificant end of the spectrum.  The question must be
  whether they prioritize winning through building community consensus
  over short-range wins by exploiting community divisiveness, such as
  with this case issue.

  Yes, I'm worried, but only because so many other people seem to be
  missing the point, sometimes entirely.  To make Franz Inc behave well
  in the long run and remain one of, if not the, best Common Lisp
  vendor, requires work on our part, too.  Just as the idiots who did
  not keep Microsoft in check have contributed very strongly to their
  very, vary bad business ethics and products alike.  After all, the
  customer _is_ always right, especially when he gets what he wants but
  is just too stupid to realize it in time.

  ALGORITHM: a procedure for solving a mathematical problem in a finite
  number of steps that frequently involves repetition of an operation.
  ALGOREISM: a procedure for solving an electoral problem in a finite
  number of steps that frequently involves repetition of an operation.