Subject: Re: quest for pass-by-reference semantics in CL
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Mon, 06 May 2002 21:23:34 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Erik Naggum
> H.P.Barendregt: The Lambda Calculus, Its Syntax and Semantics.  1 second.
> (It is within reach from where I sit.)

* Erann Gat
| Well, *there's* a book that's undoubtedly at ready hand to every working
| programmer.

  I sense hostility even when I try to answer your questions seriously.

  The only book I have within reach that is for a working programmer is the
  first edition of "ML for the Working Programmer", but I ignored that book
  because MLS is not for the working programmer.  You obviously have such
  an exclusive definition of "working programmer" that it is impossible to
  refute your claim by actually finding a commonly available book with a
  good definition.  This speaks volumes about the sincerity of your claim.

| Are you arguing in support of my position or against it?

  Again, I sense hostility even when I try to answer your questions
  seriously.  What do you think this tells me?

| A hit rate of one in three out of books hand-picked by an expert out of
| an extensive personal library is the *best* one could hope to achieve.

  Well, you have chosen a fairly technical term.  Her's another obvious
  answer to those in the pharmaceutical industry and quite a number of
  concerned users: In which common househould products would you find
  hexachlorophene, and if you know that it also the active ingredient in
  medication administered orally to cats, what is the ailment for which it
  is the therapy?  Where would you start looking?  There is _one_ reference
  work that a self-respecting physician or pharmacologist should have ready
  access to that answers this question.  Which is it?

| The more typical situation is probably closer to randomly browsing the
| computer section at Barnes and Noble.

  Do engineers who need to know the tensile strength of a steel quality go
  to Barnes & Noble?  My question here is really: Why is a computer
  programmer expected to be an illiterate fool and why are you basing your
  entire argument on the ignorance of the common programmer?  And this
  after "blaming" Matthias Blume for not writing textbooks for these
  people, when they would clearly not even touch it if it were for sale?

  Are programmers responsible for their own skills?  That is what this
  silly book hunt really boils down to.  Your answer is a resounding No.
  Mine is an equally resounding Yes.
  In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none.
  In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief.

  70 percent of American adults do not understand the scientific process.