Subject: Re: why we aren't using lisp (was New to Lisp)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/06/20
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* (Christopher R. Barry)
| Now what has RMS contributed to the "software development profession?"

  *snicker*  19, was it?  when he was your age, he had serious work at MIT
  published under his name.

| If anything, he feels that those in the software development profession
| should not be paid salaries like those in medical, law, scientific and
| engineering professions when the cost of education, level of challenge,
| amount of work, and intelligence requirements are equal if not greater.

  this is your moronic interpretation, not his actual message nor his idea.

  did you know that agreements (in the legal profession) are not copyright?
  how can lawyers make money when the results of their work aren't theirs
  to control?  did you know that in the medical profession, the whole idea
  is to publish your findings, methods, etc, and to constantly contribute
  to the sum total of experience in the field?  how can they make money
  when they don't own and control the methods they use?  engineers publish
  their creativity in the form of patents, which anyone is free to read and
  improve upon, but if you use it without serious improvement, you get to
  pay for that benefit.  in the medical, legal, scientific, and engineering
  disciplines, as well as in the arts, the _rule_ is to publish to survive.
  any author can go read Shakespear and quote at will, he doesn't need to
  pay a personal license to watch professional actors perform the play for
  him.  there's a commencement speech at MIT to the class of '98 that is
  now on the hit lists all over the world, where Bass Lehrman (sp?) reads
  the text from that speech to some nice background music.  a lot of music
  is built from _sampling_.  all over the place, credits are payed and
  people can use available material.  the software industry is _different_
  from all the other industries.  we behave as if we are hardware people,
  with vested interests in the secrecy of the drawings of the chips, but we
  aren't.  software is written by people, for other people.

  what makes you think a software professional (with a license from the
  government or a trade union to write software in mission-critical systems
  or software that affects the general public) would not have a full day of
  work _without_ having to write the same code that others had done a
  thousands of times before him?  imagine what the other professions would
  be like if each professional kept his findings secret and refused to
  share them with his peers.  something is wrong in the software industry.

  however, the solution is not to remove control from the author.  the
  solution is to make source available to conscientious practitioners and
  good students, as rewards for being the future of a profession.  after
  all, there's a reason for the time-delay of patents and the time-delay of
  publication of important methods and the association of remarkable
  results with companies or people -- it's the time in which the results
  are supposed to pay back.  after it has funded its own creation and laid
  the grounds for future research, soceity as a whole no longer benefits
  from complete control over the results -- and thus patents cannot last
  for more than a few years.  the software industry as a whole basically
  doesn't believe it _has_ any value except in its secrets.  after having
  made a living in this industry since 1983, I know that that is just plain
  false.  the value in our industry lies in our ability to solve very real
  problems for people who have ailing systems, just like people have ailing
  health that need doctors to keep from being fatal and companies have
  ailing relationships that need a lawyer to avoid outright conflict.

| If he (and his minions like Klaus) insist that honest, well-meaning
| companies like (for example) Franz are hoarders and putting their users
| in bondage because they are a bunch of intelligent people working their
| butts off to ship a high-quality product and to support it properly while
| not putting the lifestyles they have earned in unnecessary jeopardy, then
| he is far more guilty than I of lifestyle-attacking.

  RMS doesn't attack anyone's lifestyle.  he wants freedom to live his own
  way and that those who join him should be able to do so, freely and
  without being forced to accept other views, like yours.  that's the
  freedom you are very strongly opposed to giving him.  now, _who_ is the
  raving lunatic in this picture if not you?

  please don't confuse Klaus Schilling and Richard M. Stallman.  the former
  is a certified lunatic.  the latter is a brilliant man with ideas that
  run counter to the predominant views, but he is not a lunatic because of

  my suggestion is: grow up or shut up, Christopher R. Barry.

@1999-07-22T00:37:33Z -- pi billion seconds since the turn of the century