Subject: Re: How to get a wider audience for CL From: Erik Naggum <email@example.com> Date: 31 Aug 2002 04:27:13 +0000 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> * Nicolas Neuss | Could someone who has got this pdf file tell me, if it is reasonable to buy | it (wrt printing quality)? (Alternatively, I could try to tex the draft | sources at www.alu.org or simply remain with the Hyperspec.) I bought the actual standard and it nicely printed and bound. (The only objection I have against the standard qua publication is that it uses the butt-ugly default TeX fonts.) In order to know whether it was advisable for me to recommend that others spend the USD 18 on the PDF file, I bought it only to discover that there are things worse than almost computer modern -- almost computer modern printed scanned back in at 150 dpi by a person with a serious grudge against attention to detail. The bad PDF document looks like evidence of a passive-aggressive personality disorder hard at work. You could not make something that ugly unless you were deliberately trying to punish people for wanting to buy the standard, especially since ANSI had the original postscript files, from which they should have been able to destill a PDF. But then again, ANSI even failed to list the Common Lisp standard properly in their catalog. Now, the obvious conclusion from the above is that I should no longer advise people to purchase the PDF document. But it is also the wrong conclusion. You need the real thing and the ANSI document is the real thing. USD 18 will set you back one good meal or a movie and a burger date, but you are single, anyway, right? (But purchase the actual document and you may have to forgo real food and eat rice for a month or more. Obesity has become an epidemic in Western cultures and asceticism quite undervalued, but one may still find cause to prioritize food over standards.) So the only reason you want this document is that you want to ascertain that what you read elsewhere is the true standard. It may not be a great read -- for that, the postscript files are still available or get the TeX sources and compile your own -- but there are some differences between the abject representational poverty of HTML and the paper version has a very different feel than any of the HTML versions available. Since I mentioned it, I got quite a handsome number of positive responses, so I think I shall go forward with an idea I got as I came across amazingly beautifully printed and bound versions of the Bible and the Qur'an (which are admittedly aimed at larger markets than standards) and noticed that Webster's New World College Dictionary comes in a black leather-bound and gilded edition for their 50th anniversary. As a bibliophile I would so very much like to produce the last public draft of the Common Lisp standard in a nicer font and in the high-quality binding that I think it deserves. Since it is not going to change any time soon and we should try not to worry about its status as ANSI standard, I should hope there is a sufficiently large market that I am willing to take on the job of producing this book in a lasting and beautiful version. The problems are the print run, the cost of the binding, and the financial risks involved. I have no idea what the costs might be, but will investigate in the coming week. It will be substantially more than the USD 18 for the PDF file, however. Please indicate your preliminary interest to me by mail with some indication of the price level at which that interest would wane. -- Erik Naggum, Oslo, Norway Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder. Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.