Subject: Re: ANN: NiCLOS Engineering Release now available
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/05/06
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Kelly Murray <kem@IntelliMarket.Com>
| (Note that if you're selling CL, it makes sense to want the world to
| learn CL, but that is not our business.

  but it is.  you want the world _not_ to (have to) learn Common Lisp.

| As a further note, why is it that there does not exist ANY CL third-party
| tools vendors?)

  this is actually a good question.  here's my take on it: in order for
  there to be a huge market for something, you need publicity, and in order
  to get publicity, you need to have serious flaws and problems that make
  people want to talk about your product.  when people talk about flaws and
  problems, some people will see a market for their own third-party tools
  and packages, just as some people see a market for magazines and news
  coverage of the players in the third-party tools market.  in order to get
  this ball rolling, your product obviously has to be quite useful or have
  the potential of becoming quite useful or people won't put up with the
  flaws and start talking about them or, better yet, try to fix them for
  you.  so, to be successful, you need something that is obviously useful
  so people will use it and obviously broken so people will fix it after
  they have started to use it.  now, if you're really smart, your fixes are
  _also_ half-assed, and you hook people into the con game by offering new
  and improved fixes, and the primary vendor offers new and improved shit
  that has different flaws and problems, so the third-party tools vendors
  also stay in business.  on top of this, if you can pull it off without
  anyone noticing it, allow nasty viruses to take advantage of you product
  and voilà, you have publicity in the media and an air of responsibility
  when you take charge to plug security holes, and you create business for
  people who plug security holes for you while you also ensure that a lot
  of criminally-minded idiots will use your system for their activities.

  Common Lisp doesn't have the "obviously broken" property, so it doesn't
  get popular because programmers can't share stories.  it's damn hard to
  fix Common Lisp, so people don't.  you can't really make a living out of
  writing about complaints about Common Lisp, so the magazines don't spring
  into existence.  you won't have any fun writing viruses for Common Lisp
  systems, either, so you neither get publicity nor the attention of the
  criminal world.  all in all, you lose if you don't peddle broken shit.

  all in all, I think it's a wonderful situation that there are no third-
  party tools vendors for Common Lisp.  :)
| I don't think NiCLOS web apps need Complex Numbers, or Defstruct or
| Deftype or Load or Compile-File or even Intern and Defpackage.  It would
| be a very bad business decision to throw copies of ANSI Common Lisp
| manuals to our prospective developers as documentation on how to develop
| web apps.

  why?  have you seen what the other "apps" come with?  _tomes_ with what
  passes for reference material.  and not just crappy Windows cruft, but
  serious stuff like Oracle databases or cisco systems routers/firewalls.

| Lispers argue that Lisp is great for creating new domain-specific
| languages -- that is what SilkScript is, a web-app-specific language.

  I'm sure it is that, too, but changing the syntax of core operators is
  not what people usually associate with domain-specific languages.

| Notice that the CL Community already has CL-HTTP, which as far as I know
| has not been very successful, despite being available for free and
| including all the source code.

  the reasons for this are very complex, and should not be taken as
  arguments for a particular differing view.

| I would be most pleased if CL-compatibility is worth something --- show
| me CL programmers that are developing commercial web applications that
| will pay for a NiCLOS license, and I will continue to argue to my
| business partners why we shouldn't have a VB or Java or Perl or TCL or
| XML extension language in the server like other competing products in the
| marketplace.

  this is _really_ not how you attract people's attention.  you just told
  me, in effect, that I can't trust the stability of your product and that
  I'd be foolish to invest any time in learning SilkScript or developing
  "apps" in it, because you're competing out in the open with those crappy
  languages that have all the obviously-broken properties they can possibly
  get their hands on, and are therefore guaranteed success.  you should
  instead focus on telling me that I should be able to trust you to stay
  around, to capitalize on the existing skills and that I can expand my
  skills into the Common Lisp third-party tools market, if I use NiCLOS.

  on the other hand, people _are_ talking about NiCLOS because it is
  obviously broken in the "gratuitously changed syntax" department.