Subject: Re: Beginner question: performance problems with a simple program
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2002 16:53:35 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Aleksandr Skobelev <>
| So, I think, YES-OR-NO-P in its current state is not very useful in any
| program which intended for non-English user, who works with non-English
| keyboard mainly.

  Why, then, did you write the call to that function in the first place?

  I see another case of blaming the language for failing to be convenient
  _enough_ and trying to blame some cultural artifact that the _programmer_
  has not been able to figure out is not going to do what he wants.

  It is great that Common Lisp is usable by us "furriners", but when I was
  faced with the inability of Allegro CL 4.3 to deal with case issues in
  ISO 8859-1, I spent some time fixing this problem locally, and repeated
  this for Allegro CL 5.0 so it would work in my application, which used
  and required ISO 8859-1 to work properly.  It was not particularly hard.
  However, I did not attempt to make format control ~P work for Norwegian.
  I did not use yes-or-no-p in the Norwegian user interface.  I did not
  expect a language I have learned and studied suddenly to become plastic
  and turn into something it is not just because I wished for it.

  I actually find it completely incredulous that otherwise seemingly smart
  programmers suddenly get a case of "wishful thinking syndrome" and fail
  to understand that a programming language is what it is.  If the language
  does not fulfull your childhood dreams, at least try to figure out if it
  is actually blocking you from realizing them _with_ it.  If so, drop it
  and find another language that does not block your dreams.  If, however,
  the language just falls short of some egoistic "ideal" that you think you
  have right to complain that the world does not fulfull for you, you have
  a _much_ bigger problem than the failure of yes-or-no-p to speak Russian.

  Programming is about making new things possible, about realizing dreams,
  about _creating_ dreams.  I get so fucking _tired_ of the whining losers
  who expect languages and environments and computers in general to relieve
  them of having to exert any effort at all to get what they want, and who
  get _sore_ when the languages refuse to do their bidding.  Sore losers
  who fail to grasp that they world does not owe them a thing come out as
  exceptionally demanding assholes who cannot tolerate that they have to do
  some of the work themselves.

  Common Lisp is one of the languages in the world that offer programmers
  _so_ much for free already, but what happens?  Again and again, whining
  losers gang up on it for not offering them enough.  Even thinking about
  making something useful on their own instead of whining is beyond these
  people, so it is all fault-finding instead of doing something new and
  useful.  This is probably the biggest difference between the Common Lisp
  community and the Perl community: Give people a shitty language and they
  expect nothing, so create what they need, but give people a great
  language and they expect everything, so only pine for what they miss.

  Internationalization and _real_ localization is very hard work.  It is
  not something you tack on as an afterthought, any more than security and
  qualit is.  If some standard function named yes-or-no-p does not satisfy
  a Russian user, the only surprise should be that someone could even come
  up with the idea that it should have.

  If you have a problem with missing functionality in a programming
  environment, there is actually a name for the solution to your problem:
  It is called _programming_.