Subject: Re: newbie question
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2002 02:39:59 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Thomas A. Russ
| Erik,

  Look, e-mail works just fine if you have to go personal.

| I think you need to read the original question again.

  I do not.  Please let the original poster speak for himself.  Your guesses
  and inferences about what somebody else intended are ipso facto _false_.  Do
  not even bother to post anything like that.

| The original poster was not expecting Common Lisp to infer the type from the
| the contents, but was rather puzzled that the TYPEP test for a more specific
| array type specifier did not return NIL.

  Are you quite sure you understand what a user expects when he asks for a non-
  existing specialized array type after stuffing almost only "floats" into an
  array?  A natural interpretation of his question would be "Does this array
  only contain floats?", and that is _not_ how typep works.  Do you understand?
  In order to take the original poster on a journey of discovery away from his
  expectations, I thought he needed to be told of how the things he had _asked_
  for works, so he would realize that he should not go further down that path.

| My guess is that in the implementation in question, the types (array float)
| and (array T) are the same (in other words, there is no specialized (array
| float).  Since they are the same, the typep test returns T.

  Look, a typep test for (array <non-t>) will _never_ return true if the array
  has been created with :element-type t, which is the default.  His test will
  _always_ fail, simply because he is confused about what constitutes a type
  test and how an array is specialized when it is created.

  I really don't have time for this Mickey-Mouse business.  Read the fucking
  standard.  Just figure it out.  If you have to "correct" me in public, at
  least be _more_ correct than I am.  Otherwise, I have to fight the _wrong_
  correction by quoting from the standard or wasting huge amounts of time
  dealing with people as clueless as in the call-by-value case.  (People pay
  lots of money and spend years of their lives studying in order to raise the
  general level of discourse among practitioners of a discipline, but then we
  get scores of people who believe that not having a clue at all is acceptable
  and that people should give them a computer science education for free?)  You
  can spend the time researching things yourself instead of requiring me to do
  it to correct a correction that isn't.  Goddamnit, I try to help people with
  what I see as the underlying confusion, at least pay some fucking attention
  before you imply that I was missing the point.

  This forum is _not_ rewarding if you already have a clue.  What a goddamn
  waste it has become to try to help people who already think they know the
  answer, no matter how wrong it is.  If you are not prepared for all kinds of
  corrections, even to what you believe strongly to be true, when you are stuck
  (a strong indication that you have missed something), you should _not_ waste
  people's time by asking for help.  There have been more of these people on
  the Net recently, people who expect a simple answer to what they think is a
  simple question and who have no desire at all to _learn_ anything, who refuse
  to listen, who only want someone to debug their code for them, and I do not
  care much for them.

  I really thought the orginal poster wanted to learn something, but if I am
  mistaken in this, I profoundly regret wasting the time to help him.  All in
  all, it looks like people who come to the Net these days are not worth
  helping, because they will never assume the role that the older generation
  assumed after they learned from others -- helping the next generation.  I
  answer people's questions for free on the Net because I think the world is a
  better place if people know their stuff and knowledge is shared among those
  who want to learn, but if the people who read the answers do not agree with
  this and only abuse my good-will to steal my time, it is not worth responding
  to anyone, anymore.

  I actually consider responding to news articles on web pages and moderating
  replies posted, submitted and mailed.  Discussion and correction is good.
  Wasting time on bozos is not.  USENET's biggest asset has always been that
  people can discuss freely, but when this freedom is abused to waste people's
  time and social engineering does not work to preventively scare the living
  daylight out of people who think they know better than they do, some other
  mechanism must be found that prevents the bogus replies from affecting the
  informative value of the forum.
  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.