Subject: Re: superior(?) programming languages
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1996/12/18
Newsgroups: comp.arch,comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Adam Alpern
| I've written many hundreds of thousands of lines of Common Lisp without
| ever calling eval once - and this was in dynamic, end-user programmable
| environments (class & prototype based visual programming systems, highly
| parallel blackboard systems with integrated rule engines), defining new
| classes and methods on the fly, etc...

at first I was impressed by this, but it didn't match the contents of your
article so I ignored it.  then I looked you up on the Web, and found that
you have just (as of 1996-07-02) graduated from Hampshire College, and that
you don't mention this work in your resume.

at full speed, I write about 1 line of Lisp code per minute, including
think time.  "many hundreds of thousands of lines of Common Lisp" would
translate, for me, into many hundreds of thousands of minutes, if we make
the invalid assumption that I can sustain this speed for a whole day at a
time.  suppose now that we have 500 minutes a day available for programming
Lisp, and suppose that "many" means more than 5, we can safely assume that
you have been working on this system full time for at least three years,
five if you take vacations and weekends off.  this flies in the face of
your resume, and must therefore be assumed to be an utterly foolish lie on
your part.

next time you feel a desire to brag like that, update your resume first.


as for some real numbers, when I stopped writing C for fun and profit three
years go, at about the time you entered college. I estimated that I had
_written_ about a million lines of code over the preceding 15 years, but
published (i.e., made available to more than 10 people, either as source or
compiled code) less than a tenth of that.  I can hope to have published
"many hundreds of thousands of lines of Common Lisp" when I celebrate my
40th anniversary.  I would consider that a real achievement.

I regret that I wasted time on finding this information, but I would have
liked to know somebody who had written many hundreds of thousands of lines
of Common Lisp.

users should be computer-friendly.