Subject: Re: source access vs dynamism
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/09/05
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* William Tanksley
| "Wordset" would be, I believe, an equally useful term.  "Library",
| however, will be immediately understandable to anyone with any other
| language background, and was probably the first word which popped to his
| mind.
| I don't get _how_ that could cause any confusion at all, let alone offence.

  why don't you _try_ to understand rather than repeat that you don't?

  you're facing the same problem faced by people who aren't used to how
  racial issues work in the United States.  if you're used to say "black"
  in your environment and some people have a serious reaction to that in
  some other environment because it has a whole truck-load of very wrong
  connotations, _you_ are the fool for not recognizing this and trying to
  respect that the connotations are undesirable and use something else
  without those same connotations, not the person who objects to your usage
  or "terminology".

  viz, "library" has a lot of connotations that are strongly invalid for
  Common Lisp.  listen to that fact.  try to understand the history of that
  fact.  try to figure out why people object to the term along with such
  things as that Common Lisp doesn't "link" with libraries, doesn't produce
  "object files" and doesn't come with a "library manager", doesn't
  "resolve" undefined symbols, etc.

  on the other hand, how we choose to organize Lisp programs in memory and
  on disk is a completely separate problem from the language.  we might
  very well organize the system such that (1) some functions are loaded
  from disk on demand, (2) some functions are in some particular shared
  libraries, (3) some functions are written in a different language and
  actually form a static-language type "library" in the boot-up process.
  none of this, however, has any bearing at all on the way Lisp sees these
  functions.  the concept "library" is therefore _destructive_ in getting
  to the proper way to view a Lisp system, because you will forever focus
  on the wrong part of the system and the way it is organized.

| Seriously, though, I really like how Lisp's age seems to lend it
| perspective on issues like this.  Other languages seem to imagine that
| they have to get threads added NOW; Lisp just kinda goes: okay, let it
| wait one or ten years.

  (what became) Common Lisp has also _had_ threads for about twenty years,
  without the clamor for standardization that we see today.  people have
  been satisfied with the way things have worked in the various Lisps, and
  the desire to standardize the obviously immature hasn't been very vocal
  until fairly recently, _because_ neophytes in language land make a huge
  point of having a very simple version of what most Lisps already support.

| IMO, this NG is one of the worst for getting information I've been on.

  that's because you insist on deciding the form in which you will accept
  it.  other people have been near ecstatic about this newsgroup because
  they are (gently) forced to think about unusual issues and rethink their
  position on others.  you don't seem to appreciate this interaction at
  all, so of course you will not find what you're looking for -- as witness
  your desire to force others to accept that "library" is acceptable here.
  you will fail, because it is not the right concept.  your insistence is
  creating a lot of unnecessary friction.  other people who insist on
  bringing a lot of friction to the newsgroup for basically the same
  reason: they don't want to learn things at the level they actually need
  to learn them, but think they know a lot more than they do because they
  feel they deserve to, by virtue of knowing something else well.  all I
  can say is that it's strange that it is people with this attitude that
  call people here "primadonnas" and "all-so superior" and other evidence
  of inferiority complexes hard at work.  the fact is that there is nothing
  wrong in being a novice at something if you are an expert at something
  else -- if you really are good, you will not be a novice for long -- but
  the more you pretend you're an expert, the longer it will take to become
  one for real.

  save the children: just say NO to sex with pro-lifers