Subject: Re: the "loop" macro
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 14:30:03 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* John Foderaro <>
> First I always speak for myself. 

  I actually _believe_ you think you do.  Which is kind of scary.

> Second did you miss Erik's points:
> 1. I shouldn't be allowed to distribute code that uses a macro that's not
> part of  Common Lisp.  Franz should 'clean up' the code by automatically
> rewriting the code to include only CL macros and special forms.

  Seems to me that you try to speak for me both now and repeatedly previously.
  You do not recognize this, do you?

> 2. I can think ill of Common Lisp macros and special forms but I
> shouldn't put those thoughts down on a web page where people can read it.
> To him to criticize less than one percent of Common Lisp is to criticize
> one hundred precent of it and to seek it's downfall.

  This sure looks like you try to speak for me, too.  Do you fail to
  understand what you are saying both directly and indirectly?

  This incredibly stupid and dishonest manipulation that you engage in
  fails because most people in this newsgroup are probably smarter than you
  are and figure out _exactly_ what you are trying to do.

> If you feel that way too, and I very much doubt you do, then you are a
> zealot as well.

  Why is it important to you that whoever says something is a zealot?

  I think this quote from your own material speaks for itself:

Why do I argue against ideas I don't like rather than make it personal and argue 
against specific people?   There are a number of reasons.  First I feel there's 
a lot more content if you stick to ideas rather than hurling childish insults.

  I think we have sufficient evidence to conclude that you are unable to
  separate fact and fiction and neither do you actually understand how much
  you are hurling childish insults and show that you are _preoccupied_ with
  arguing against specific people.

  The most interesting point for me, however, is watching how you squirm
  away from the real issues.  It is _impossible_ that you could have failed
  to grasp what I have said.  It is unthinkable that you do not understand
  that I have directly linked your unprofessional behavior to Franz Inc's
  loss of business and I believe that your continued employment with Franz
  Inc is detrimental to the survivability of Allegro CL, but _still_ you
  continue to argue as if you have a "right" to create new macros and
  "criticize" the standard, _neither_ of which have been substantially
  challenged by anyone other than your whining self.

  All in all, you leave me the impression of a mentally ill person who has
  lost all relevant contact with reality and have shut itself in a world
  where people are trying to prevent him from doing something reasonable
  when in fact nobody is preventing that, they are trying to stop you from
  doing real damage to people because of the way you work to destroy the
  community consensus-building processes of which you are, by your very own
  admission, not party.

  You also missed the point entirely, which is hardly surprising, about why
  Franz Inc should remove IF* from its published code: It is because it is
  professional of a serious company to keep its mentally ill "artists" away
  from the public in exactly the same way several publishing houses have
  and continue to accept the most insane behavior from its authors as long
  as they can correct their idiosyncrasies of spelling and grammar in
  print.  If Franz Inc continues to publish IF*, it is not selling a Common
  Lisp implementation, it is selling the works of an insane artist, the
  same way an author who insists on a variant spelling is selling his
  deviant spelling in preference to whatever ideas he wanted to express.
  I am forced to assume that you do not understand this analogy at all.

  Let me make that analogy more concrete.  Suppose you think that the verb
  "be" is broken and that it should be a regular verb.  You write all your
  documentation and correspondence with your more elegant version, publish
  a "grammar standard" which explains why "be" is broken by design and why
  people should avoid it like the plague and instead use your simple and
  elegant be*, and you rant and rave against the complex grammar of English
  and lie about there being no other languages with a complex "be" verb.
  If this does not make you look stark raving mad, I do not know what would.

  Now, your employer has a potential contract with a client and the client
  looks at your documentation and wonders why you have devised your own
  verb, at which point you decide that this is a good time to argue against
  the stupid English language and its gratuitous complexity.  The client is
  very professional and asks you whether this opinion of yours will impact
  their software, which among other things will contain a natural language
  module and wisely asks for a demonstration.  The natural language module
  has a bug because you think "be" is broken by design and it fails to make
  an important grammatical distinction.  The client asks you to fix this
  bug because they are not interested in your superior version of English.
  You get very, very upset about this and rant and rave about your rights
  to create your own verbs being infringed and clearly "be" _is_ broken!
  The very professional client interprets this as meaning that it is more
  important to you to keep your own verb than to do business with them, and
  prepares to leave, at which point you call them "grammar zealots" and
  slam the door, screaming to anryone you meet that your right to criticize
  the English language is under attack and someone wants to stop your
  improvements to the language.  I believe the esteemed readership of this
  newsgroup will appreciate that the deranged lunatic I have just described
  is a _fair_ depiction of John Foderaro.

  Suppose the deranged lunatic can do really useful work.  A professional
  employer would find ways to make use of the deranged lunatic, but would
  ensure that none of the official company correspondence use the lunatic's
  private verbs, that none of the documentation does, and that the lunatic
  is kept under lock and key and does not harm the professional impression
  of the company in the public eye.  Provided that they can afford to have
  someone go over the lunatic's useful work and clean it up, this might
  make business sense.  It does manifestly _not_ make business sense to
  keep the lunatic employed in a position where he causes serious damage to
  the company's public profile and image.  It would be _suicidal_ for a
  company to let this person loose on its clients, however professional
  they be.  Demanding that all customers put up with the lunatic before
  they can purchase the product is simply not a good business plan.

  And, yes, there _are_ serious bugs in Allegro CL that come directly from
  John Foderaro's _unwillingness_ to implement the specification correctly
  and months, even years, of asking for fixes have gone unanswered, as are
  my suggested fixes.  I have been bitten by them several times, probably
  because I am a zealot who also _knows_ the standard so well that I use
  more of it than most people.  For all its excellent support of "real"
  customer needs, you can just forget any support from Franz Inc if John
  Foderaro filters the bug report and decides the bug is in ANSI CL, and if
  you raise a conformance issue, you can easily get interrogated on your
  supposed "real" need and are suggested work-arounds instead of getting a
  "yes, sir, right a way, sir!" response that a responsible vendor of a
  product that has a well-known, published _specification_ to work from
  should respond with.  After all, conformance to the specification is the
  _baseline_ for all customer satisfaction.  If you cannot trust the
  product to conform to an extremely high-quality specification, how can
  you trust that it does what the vendor says it does?  Conformance is thus
  not an end in itself -- it is a means to establish trust in the vendor's
  ability to do a complete and professional job and to act responsibly in
  the face of a requirements document.  Instead, what I get from people at
  Franz Inc when I raise this issue is that they cannot commit to ANSI CL
  because it is a moving target, that anyone can change it, etc.  The fact
  that it is a version of a standard that is never going to change -- there
  might be new versions, but not changes -- does not penetrate or register.
  The fact that I use this standard as a reference for correct behavior the
  same way I use their manuals for their additions does not register -- I
  should use Franz Inc manuals for everything and not require any objective
  measures of conformance.

  Franz Inc used to be much better than they are now about this.  Then they
  hired another dangerous lunatic who argued strongly against conformance
  because he actually _believed_ that that would make the product _less_
  responsive to user needs and this person poisoned my relationship with
  the company and very efficiently shut down my "better conformance" drive.
  That nutball was fired as I understand it, and good riddance, but the
  effects of his destructiveness lingers, and John Foderaro has picked up
  all of his bitterness and venom towards the standard and the committe and
  has continued to destroy my trust in Franz Inc's ability to _ever_ get
  around to fix hundreds of minor conformance bugs, which they no longer
  even document or keep track of.  Then there's the weird shit they do with
  case and John Foderaro's massively unintelligent rationale for why you
  cannot write code in "modern" languages with a case-insensitive reader.
  The reader's ability to be case-insensitive was actually broken by design
  in the case-sensitive mode, but fortunately, there are still good people
  at Franz, and this did get fixed.  Now, it is not exactly rocket science
  to figure out how to make a Common Lisp system use lower-case symbol
  names in a way that does not mean switching the whole goddamn system from
  lower-case to upper-case and back, but they consider that _sufficient_
  and do not want to listen to suggestions to avoid mode switches and
  multiple Lisp images.

  _All_ of my frustrations with Franz Inc can be traced to the hostility
  towards the standard and the disingenious excuses they engage in whenever
  you want something that chiefly comes from the standard.  However, I have
  received so much positive feedback and real help and understanding from
  nigh _everybody_ other than John Foderaro and the other fired lunatic
  that I think the problem can fixed by be excising the root of the problem.

  I shall therefore assume the role of the professional client in the above
  concrete analogy who does not want to deal with the deranged lunatic on
  staff with his peculiar verb and his demented list of priorities and ask
  Franz Inc to get rid of John Foderaro and make sure that their products
  are firmly based in conformance to the standard and that they grow an
  understanding on all levels and fully appreciate that conformance is
  _not_ a threat to any of their other high-quality products or add-ons or
  extensions, but that their continued conformance issues are still a
  serious detractor from their other valuable products.  Being the only
  serious game in town has a responsibility that I cannot tolerate is
  flaunted and ridiculed the way John Foderaro does.  His utter lack of
  professionalism and serious business sense in dealing with conformance
  issues has gone from merely annoying to central in my dealing with Franz
  Inc, mostly because John Foderaro is such an arrogant bastard and so
  _fantastically_ dishonest and disingenious in his passive-agressive

  Finally, a _professional_ vendor who worked _with_ the standards process
  would submit a continuous stream of documents to improve the language in
  the committee, would probably get their will if they were even moderately
  good ideas, and would be able to gain respect for their work, and they
  would probably find a way to solve their problems if they had a person on
  staff who was less irrational than John Foderaro.  For all their ills,
  compromise in standards committees tend to produce results when the
  people who request strange things manage to avoid offending people who do
  not want the same thing as them.  As the evidence suggests, there is a
  long-standing "war" between John Foderaro and the committee.  I am not
  certain, but I believe there are no others who harbor such bitterness
  towards committee decisions like the case issue.

  I maintain that the only _real_ problem Common Lisp has is that so many
  of its purported proponents are so negative to the language.