Subject: Re: free lisp compilers?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/09/05
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Rainer Joswig
| Which is atleast surprising.  People have a very strong visual input
| channel.  Using the visual clues like color, animation, shape, etc.
| should be highly desirable to help people designing software.

  "people" come in many shapes and forms.  some people work exceedingly
  well with languages and language-based formalisms.  other people don't,
  and work better with visual clues.  some people can rotate 3D images in
  their head without effort.  others can only do it with great effort.
  some people can see patterns emerge in words and text right away, such as
  spelling mistakes and particular words they are looking for.  others fail
  to see such patterns, but see irregularities in shape with an amazing
  precision.  some would say that some people gravitate towards particular
  programming languages and even fields of work based on their differences.
  believing that all humans share any particular trait, like having "a very
  strong visual input channel" is ignoring the obvious: that few people
  find more than a handful of people who think exactly like themselves.

  I for one loathe visual "clues" beyond excellent layout.  anything beyond
  that, especially colors and fonts, cause too much emphasis on stuff I'm
  not interested in all the time it's visible.  drop all the visual crap,
  and I can look at what interests _me_ at that particular time, focusing
  on whatever I want to focus on.  colorizing code is exactly as out of
  place as colorizing parts of speech would have been in written text,
  which people who can read don't generally do.  I'm sure it could help
  kids at some time during their mental development as readers, however.

  there is much to be said for information visualization, and indeed much
  has been said, but the kind of lame toys that we find that tools that are
  designed by people who have read none of the literature use are of help
  only to people who couldn't find they way around the language without
  them, and it's not a good idea to let such people program to begin with.
  save the children: just say NO to sex with pro-lifers