Subject: Re: Lisp is neither (was Re: Ousterhout and Tcl lost the plot)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1997/04/20
Newsgroups: comp.lang.scheme,comp.lang.scheme.scsh,comp.lang.lisp,comp.lang.tcl,comp.lang.functional,comp.lang.c++,comp.lang.perl.misc,comp.lang.python,comp.lang.eiffel
Message-ID: <>

* Henry Baker
| Two words: 'Lisp Machine'.

* Mike Pinkerton
| Oh, yeah, and that was successful. I've got a friend with a Symbolics
| machine he uses as a table.

well, I for one expected this response.

do you remember the IBM PC?  a friend of mine claims he uses one as an
anchor.  was it successful?  how about any of the current crop of hardware
and software that is claimed, by the vendors themselves, to be useless and
unsupported and that you should never buy them?  (ask your favorite PC
salesdroid for a 386 with 4M RAM, a VGA card, 40M of disk, and whatever
MS-DOS version just preceded Windows, including Word Perfect 4.0 or
whatever it was.  then listen to the way he describes this once great
solution.  look at how the PC magazines describe their own progress.)

the Lisp Machines died for reasons totally unrelated to quality.  actually,
they died for the same reason that mind-bogglingly inferior systems won.
the answer is a single word: "marketing".  this is the one concept that
John Ousterhout has learned from history.  and very little else, it seems.

the Lisp Machines are still highly respected for their design and usability.
such will not happen to today's mass-marketed computers ten years hence any
more than it happens to their progenitors of ten years ago.

Bastard Sex Therapist From Hell: "Read The F*cking Manual!"