Subject: Re: PART TWO: winning industrial-use of lisp: Re: Norvig's latest paper on Lisp From: Erik Naggum <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2002 15:41:16 GMT Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <email@example.com> * Boris Smilga | It is hardly surprising that Erik, who strongly advocates following standards | in programming languages, also pushes his fellow Usenet users to comply to | the grammar of human languages. Interesting connection, but entirely false. Standards have clearly defined scope. If you want to do something within that scope, and there is standard way to do it, you do it _only_ that way. If what you is not in the standard or not within its scope, you are free to do it any way you like. Some parts of grammar are standardized. My stand is: Follow those. | On the contrary, when Thomas writes: "actual grammatical rules", he | means a description of the usage, not a set of standardisation rules. There is con contradiction here at all. In fact, the two are overlapping. If not, the standard rules would spring into existence only when all of them were known, as opposed to be written rules that people decided to follow, but as all writing, and standards, laws, etc, they are subject to change. Sometimes, I think people who see me argue for standards do not know how standards are made, probably because they are equally ignorant of how laws are made, indeed, how all human endeavor that seeks to strike a balance between descriptive and prescriptive. Standards are not freaky religions. (Some reach for "religion" to insult people as soon as they do not get their will, but let us ignore immature children still protesting against their parents for now.) Standards, laws, just about anything people decide on, are best efforts with current knowledge. If you want to implement unwind-protect, here is how you do it. Anything else is _wrong_. If you want to spell "thought", here is how you do it. Anything else is _wrong_. If you want to spell "through", you can choose between "thru" or "through", but anything else is _wrong_. If you want to purchase something from someone in a store, you can have any price in mind _except_ 0, and you can carry it any way you like, _except_ hidden away in your jacket without paying for it. Most standards in simple areas like programming are positively prescriptive -- do this -- while most laws are negatively prescriptive -- don't do this. Most rules of grammar are of the "you have one choice" kind, but which rule to apply and whether to apply it is _not_ similarly restricted. Why is it so hard for people to understand how standards, laws, grammar, etc, work, and why do so many people have to _rebel_ against them? That is _so_ clueless. This inability or intense lack of will to do what some other people tell you to do is so goddamn _childish_. Why are misbehaving children not simply taught to get with the program and shut up? They fill USENET with their idiotic taunts and teases, they gang up with each other to hurt people, they post their retarded lazy questions expecting others to do their homework for them. Is this also some American thing, I have to wonder. All this very intense marketing for staying young and fresh and _immature_ in so many TV series, movies, ads, you would think there are no Americans older than 30, and none of them ever developed after hitting puberty. No wonder they have such serious problems dealing with _parent_-style constructs like standards, laws, grammars, etc. However, there is another option: GROW UP, and do not force people who do not want to deal with children to deal with children. -- Guide to non-spammers: If you want to send me a business proposal, please be specific and do not put "business proposal" in the Subject header. If it is urgent, do not use the word "urgent". If you need an immediate answer, give me a reason, do not shout "for your immediate attention". Thank you.