Subject: Re: Lisp in the "real world"
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1997/06/30
Newsgroups: comp.lang.scheme,comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Martin Rodgers
| Careful, Erik. the message that you're giving is anti-Windows.

yeah, so?  will the Microsoftian thought police come and arrest me, now?

| Some Lisp vendors believe that supporting Windows is a good idea.  Are
| you disagreeing with me or them?  Or are you simply flaming me because
| you don't like the idea that "Lisp is less than perfect"?

sometimes I wonder what kind of braindamage Windows produces.  don't you
understand what I'm telling you, Martin?  don't you realize that what I'm
telling you is very simply this: if _you_ want this crud that you have
wasted _months_ whining about, while the rest of us have done some really
hard work, and you neither want to pay for it nor help bring it about,
_you_ should shut the fuck up.  this has nothing to do with Windows, it has
even less to do with Lisp, but it has everything to do with the specific
lack of correspondence between your whining and your actions.

you're not being constructive, Martin.  there's nothing in your messages
that can possibly cause anybody anywhere to create or produce anything.
however, if I can get you to stop polluting newsgroups with your insane
ideas about what is and is not "the real world", people can perhaps focus
on issues worth talking about.  to be even more brutally honest: you kill
discussions with your fanatic focus on your miserable Windows existence.
many interesting debates have turned into stupid Windows advocacy through
your fanatic and moronic repetition of your irrelevant points.  you harm
Lisp significantly with your inaccurate descriptions of a "real world"
where Lisp does not live.  not only do you offend people who work with Lisp
in the _real_ "real world", you tell idiots like your manager (well, if
he's entertained by my messages, he probably isn't quite the moron you have
communicated to us that he is) that there exists a "real world" wherein
Microsoft rules supreme and Lisp rules not at all.  since idiot managers
already think that Microsoft rules supreme, and everybody think they live
in the "real world", they might just buy _your_ false arguments that Lisp
is not a part of that "real world", regardless of the _fact_ that it is.

| Pay me to use whatever tools you use, otherwise please don't lecture me
| on what tools I should be using.

ooooh, are we getting a little too snotty for our own good, too, now?

if you wish to dictate what people should talk about (I guess it's really
_you_ I should be "careful" not to offend with being anti-Windows, right?),
the least you can do is accept that you're at least as unwelcome with your
shit as you felt when you wrote that _stupid_ line above.

I don't want to use Windows, but you keep lecturing me (and everybody else
around here) about what the "real world" is like, and if you're getting
upset with a few scathing messages every three months, exercise your puny
little brain to get an idea how exhausted people who _don't_ subscribe to
your brainwashed ideas about "real worlds" must be after your "crusades".

| The message you're giving is that Lisp and Windows don't mix, while I'm
| asking what may be done to make them a _better_ mix.

the message I'm giving is that I'm fed up with people who whine constantly
while doing exactly nothing about their topic of whining.  a fanatic, said
Winston Churchil, is a man who can't change his mind, and won't change the
subject.  that's you.  the message I'm giving is that I'm possibly even
more fed up with managers and users who think that Microsoft is a given and
that all problems that follow are somebody else's fault.  I used to have a
signature that went like this: "Microsoft is not the answer.  Microsoft is
the question.  NO is the answer."  this is not because I envy Bill Gates'
penis or some other standard Windows-zealot rationalization, but because
Bill Gates' braindamaged products brings me losses of both time and money.
fact is, I can't plan at all when Microshit is involved -- I can't trust
specifications, I can't trust the documentation, I can't believe the
marketing, and I can't base any rational decisions on anything coming out
of Microsoft, or even the behavior of _anything_ supposed to run under
Windows.  Windows users care about colors, buttons, trivial issues in user
interface design, and they either don't have the brains or just lack the
knowledge to request robust software.  I don't know Windows, but I ask
people who do for help whenever a client is married to Microsoft, and even
the experts with full-time exposure to Microshit can't give me straight
answers to simple questions about what works and what doesn't, what the
conditions of failure and success are, etc.  I can't program shit like
that.  I'm barely able to live with the randomness in the Unix world.  I
don't consider it worth my while to work around hundreds of arbitrary,
product- and version-dependent bugs whose very workarounds effectively
prohibit fixes, but this is what modern computing is all about.  there are
so many tricks of the Windows trade that there is no trade left.

| Which of us is being more constructive?

I am, obviously, since I do real work in Lisp for real clients.  I don't
know what you do, but every time I get a little time on my hands to read
and post news, there's this idiot Cyber Surfer who clamors on about his
puny subsistence with Windows and why won't anybody give him a chance to
program in Lisp, which he claims to love, but shows no evidence of.

what really amazes me is that you're so totally bereft of any ability to
recognize that you're a royal pest that you actually think I'm criticizing
something _other_ than your fruitless _whining_.  you could whine about
pigs not having wings for all I care -- I'm sick and tired _specifically_
of this Cyber Surfer's incessant whining.  and I say so.

if you wish to be constructive, offer to do some work for a Lisp vendor,
and if you're turned down (_I_ would turn you down if I were a Lisp vendor,
as I have no evidence at all that you know Lisp from cricket), at least
work your ass off to pay for somebody else to do what you want done.

if you wish to be constructive, _solve_ problems, don't just repeat some
nonsense about their hypothetical existence.

now, _of_course_ it would be nice if Windows victims could use a real
programming language, but I don't really think this is possible.  Microsoft
is even more married to C++ these days than Unix was to C in its heyday.
Microsoft takes particular care to destroy any investment in software that
tries to build abstractions on top of their randomness-by-design, even
making arbitrary changes just to annoy a competitor.  _why_ should anyone
want to work with the dickheads in Redmond, WA, if they already have a
superior product to offer the intelligent remains of the planet's species?

now, _of_course_ it makes business sense to make money, but somehow, people
don't go into drug trafficking and prostitution just because they want to
make money.  there's this _ethics_ element, and this _values_ element that
keep normal people away from the paths that Bill Gates has chosen from the
day he lied about his software for the Altair.  self-respecting people just
don't succumb to this level of dishonesty and fraudulent behavior.

if it isn't possible to succeed in a particular trade by being good at what
you do, you can always change trades.  if it is possible to succeed in a
particular trade only if you're some mediocre bum, good people won't even
desire to work in that trade.

| Followups adjusted.

no, you attempted to, and you failed.

GUI -- Graphics Under the Influence