Subject: Re: I'm outta here... From: Erik Naggum <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 20:05:07 GMT Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <email@example.com> * Janis Dzerins | The point John tried to make (as I understood it) is that he writes the | software for one platform only (Allegro CL) and if anybody tries to port | it to other platforms, the conditional macro is the smallest and easiest | part of porting effort, and he never claimed the software as being or | purporting to be conforming to ANSI Common Lisp. None of this would ever have come up as an issue if he had said he wrote and posted programs in Foderaro Lisp, which is what he is really doing. It looks like Common Lisp the same way Microsoft's languages look like the standard -- not quite. | Users may modify the code but _must_ obey that coding standard, which is | not The Common Lisp Standard (the ANSI one, because there is no other). | And hence if anyone thinks it's junk in there, they are not free to | improve it or even discuss whether something is an improvement -- you | either obey what the author thinks is best or go code something else. Excellent point that has not been made explicit until now. Thanks. | Some people here argue that if they can create their favorite Lisp | dialect of past in a conforming Common Lisp program then it is good to | do it. I think it is not. I agree. | If we all agree that _Commn Lisp_ is the base from which we move on then | we can move on. People who think that Common Lisp should be changed | before we move on should either rethink their values and accept The | Standard as a starting point or create another community and leave Common | Lisp alone. This would not have been a problem if it were not for the weird desire to name the new community "Common Lisp". However, there are always those who think they can steal the momentum of the good name of something they want to destroy and replace. | The acceptance of Common Lisp as the authority should have been implicit | for people wanting to be a part of the Common Lisp community, but it | seems that somehow some people don't understand it. There is a difference between accepting something _as_ an authority and accepting everything it says as authoritative. This is an important distinction that Paul Foley helped me realize was not made explicit. The latter is simply wrong -- but I do not think anybody actually _does_ that except to accuse others of it. That is, if you say you accept the law _as_ the authority on public conduct in a society, someone who does not accept the law _as_ an authority will typically argue that you should not accept everything it says as _right_. Our perpetrator does exactly that and it did not even occur to me just _how_ sinister this was: It means that you cannot accept someone or somethinig _as_ an authority unless you agree to everything they say, making infallibility a prerequisite for authority, which is simply so insane that nobody _should_ be able to come to this conclusion on their own, but again, some people tend to think that other people believe insane things so they are easier to fight. This prerequisite of infallibility is fantastically destructive to the very fabric of a reasonable society, but many religions incorporate it. This is why the perpetrator thinks that Common Lisp is a religion and a cult to those who accept the standard _as_ the authority. To him, to disagree with an authority means to dethrone and reject it. Since this is so nuts as to be excluded from the conversation among reasonable men, anyone who actually believes something like this is very destructive. This "accept the standard as authority" is what I have meant by "respect for the standard". You can respect someone while disagreeing with them. You can respect the police even while arguing against their behavior, but if you just get mad at police in general and start to fight the police for no better reason that they _are_ the police, it is not _disagreement_ that you should be prepared to defend yourself against. Curiously, it is precisely with "disagreement" that our perpetrator has tried to summarize his conflicts with those who uphold the standard _as_ the authority. We should not buy into this line of argument at all. If you reject the only authority in a community because you disagree with it, it is not because of your "disagreement" that people object to your behavior, it is because the whole community reverts to anarchy and is filled with uncertainty, loss of stability, and absence of trust in the vendors in the market. If there is _one_ thing that the Common Lisp community must have more than any other community, it is trust in its vendors and respect for its standard. The language community is too small to sustain splinter groups and fragmentation. A vendor who answers to nobody, but which is willing to "go their own way" regardless of consequences and objections is hard to trust to do things right, to correct mistakes, etc. If they "answer to their customers", it only means that customers who do not want the standard behavior are valued higher than those who do -- that particular terminology has forever been usurped by Microsoft to mean disrespect for any authority that is not themselves. It also means they are unlikely to fix conformance bugs upon which some _past_ customers have based their applications that are valued higher than future customers who cannot base their applications on their lack of conformance. This is _not_ what the Common Lisp community needs to survive. /// -- Norway is now run by a priest from the fundamentalist Christian People's Party, the fifth largest party representing one eighth of the electorate. -- Carrying a Swiss Army pocket knife in Oslo, Norway, is a criminal offense.