Subject: Re: Is LISP dying?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/07/19
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Hartmann Schaffer
| You really can't learn CLIM in a free environment, and one of the posts
| in this thread mentioned a pretty high $ figure to get a version with

  so people who can't use Lisp for free won't know that they should use it
  because they don't know what it is, but people know they should use CLIM
  and can't because it isn't free?  I don't get it.  how did they discover
  the need to use CLIM to begin with?  

  there's something going on that is not at all about the issues you guys
  keep dragging up.  this is _so_ not about free environments!  can't you
  guys do us all a favor and stop hitting on that single argument and be a
  little more precise in what you're _actually_ after?  this is just like
  listening to people who have thought up a solution to all the world's
  problems and keep whining that nobody will do as they say.  that's not
  how this world works.  you can't decide for yourself that you have the
  solution and then go apply it to all problems.

  where is this "free environment" requirement _coming_ from?  people go
  through their very expensive educations, most spend half their life
  paying back the loans or saving up for their own kids to get educated,
  and then they suddenly want one particular thing for free or they won't
  even try, but will instead sit there and whine that it isn't free.  who
  gives a fuck about these people?  _I_ don't want to give such people
  anything at all, especially not for free.  I don't expect those who have
  what they want to have very different sentiments, even if they, like me,
  have given away tremendous amount of work and values previously.

  what happens when CLIM is available for free?  hey, it might need MOTIF.
  whine, whine, MOTIF isn't free, so we can't use CLIM, and we can't use
  Common Lisp because we can't use CLIM, and life is hell, or whatever.

  what I _really_ don't understand is why you guys all want somebody else
  to take a huge risk (providing expensive software for free) when you
  obviously won't take the slightest risk yourselves (spend the time to
  learn something from the manuals).

  what's hugely important in the free software world is to distinguish
  those who will not stop asking for more from those who can make do with
  whatever they get and return something useful to the community.  I have
  come to conclude that the successes of those who cry for more has made it
  hard for those who want to work something out for themselves to keep up
  their spirits.  in my view, whining should be punishable by law, and
  parents who give in to whining should be punished, too, because I guess
  the only reason grown men whine when they can't get something for free is
  that they are reduced to children who don't get what they want from
  whoever they still think has an obligation to cater to their needs, and
  they could only have learned that from weak-willed, unfit parents.

  make take on this is: just fucking do it.  we're programmers, damn it!
  the whole _point_ is to bring stuff into existence that exist merely in
  our dreams and on our wish lists.  yeah, it sucks that we have to live
  with inferior solutions instead of perfection all around us all the time.
  yeah, programming is frustrating at the very core of the task, but do we
  not do this because we want to solve problems that are too hard to do
  manually all the time?  why does this not apply to our own tools?  and if
  it does apply, why does it _have_ to be free?  I really don't get this.

  we can only expect that which is extremely well-known to be free, because
  the dilution of investment that this information society is all about is
  itself an extremely expensive process -- making a new concept into common
  knowledge is estimated to cost more than 10 billion dollars, and it has
  to be a community effort, with journalists, authors, teachers, and even
  politicians involved in its spread.  it is clear to me that graphic user
  interfaces and window systems are still largely unknown technologies and
  that getting it usefully right involves a serious investment in genius
  time.  in particular, doing something that is intended to track the
  myriad failures that Microsoft is going through with their random trial
  and error-based development process with beta-testing using customers and
  software developers who do it only because they are afraid to be left
  behind the times, is doomed to equal or greater failure from the start.
  to get this stuff right probably needs a whole new infrastructure, and
  that won't happen until the paranoid psychotic behavior of Microsoft is
  stopped and people can actually begin to develop real software again.

  my suggestion is to write software that is completely independent of its
  graphic user interface, using protocols and very abstract programming
  interfaces between the user interface module and the functionality that
  enables a protection of investment in the functionality even while the
  user interface keeps changing.  sadly, this is not a programming style
  that "modern" programmers know how to write, because they have been
  reduced to deal with user interfaces that invade the entire system.

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