Subject: Re: CMU CL vs. CLISP?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/07/29
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Christopher B. Browne
| A Truly Confident organization can expose its bug list in the confidence
| that since they're actually working to resolve the problems, the
| revelation of the Few Remaining Blemishes will not work to their
| detriment.

  Franz Inc's documentation for ACL 4.3 contained a known bugs list.
  unfortunately, keeping a bug list up to date is a lot of work, and lots
  of bugs had actually been fixed, so you might say the bug list had bugs.
  it has been removed for ACL 5.0.

| Nay, it works to their favor since customers and would-be customers
| appreciate honesty, and will consider that the fact that the Dastardly
| Other Guys don't do the same means they must have a Whole Lot Of Bugs To
| Hide.

  well, whether you're a bad or good guy, your view of other people tends
  to be that they have to present some evidence to you that they aren't
  like you.  this sometimes causes some very interesting interactions
  between good guys and bad.

| It probably is *not* true, in general, in the computer industry, that
| customers spend money on product as a result of being able to "appreciate
| honesty" as suggested above; it probably *should* be true...

  well, honesty has a serious risk that the computer industry has larger
  problems dealing with than more stable industries.  suppose you say, "no,
  we don't support Windows 2000", and this once-honest statement turns
  false, how much would it cost to reach all the people who believed you
  the first time.  suppose you say, "yes, we are working on support for
  Windows 2000", and this is a lie, how would anyone know unless someone
  decided that total honesty was a good thing?  when Bill Gates lied with a
  straight face that he had a BASIC for the Altair, which both he and the
  designer of Altair knew was a lie, he won enough time to actually get
  there in time.  since people tend to punish dishonesty only when it is
  discovered and reward honesty only when it benefits the recipient of
  honest news more than the sender, being too honest is self-destructive.

  suppose we blasted all politicians into space.
  would the SETI project find even one of them?