Subject: Re: Implementational Portability (was: multiple-value  binding let and   let*)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/08/25
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Vassil Nikolov <>
| I notice that this list does not include anything like electrical or
| civil engineering (i.e. disciplines that are based on some science,^1
| e.g. physics), and I wonder if this was deliberate or just to keep the
| list short.

  the underlying science of a discipline doesn't dictate how professional
  practitioners will or can be, and it isn't even relevant.  a scientific
  attitude is orthogonal with the profession, too.  I'm purposely leaving
  such disciplines out because I don't think programming is anywhere close
  to the hard engineering disciplines nor that it ever will be, and I don't
  want to open up for the impression that I believe in even more staticity¹
  when I want to argue dynamism and dealing with people professionally.

  the similarity between engineering disciplines and programming lies in
  how they deal with legal and communal requirements, ever changing user
  requirements, sharing knowledge among practitioners, standardization,
  etc, not in the underlying scientificity¹.  therefore, it is better to
  use professions where the potential for confusion is much more limited.

| ^1 I believe that medicine is an art; it may become a science one day,
|    but is not one yet.  I know others may disagree, and I don't think I am
|    going to argue about it.

  I believe medicine is a science and programming an art because I know
  both of them well, not just programming.

¹ if these aren't words today, they will be in the future.
  save the children: just say NO to sex with pro-lifers