Subject: Re: Promoting CL Was: What I want from my Common Lisp vendor and the Common Lisp community
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2001 00:18:17 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* John Foderaro <>
> My opinions are based on 23 years of programming experience in Lisp.
> That doesn't mean that you have to agree with them but at least it should
> cause you to pause and think for a bit.  I don't think that you gave what
> I wrote much thought at all.

  How much thought do you expect anyone to give a paper that calls itself
  "lisp coding standards" and which contains two grave insults and a silly
  comment on comments that is completely useless?  And this is the result
  of 23 years of programming in Lisp?  Sheesh!

> I've contributed a lot of Lisp code to the community even before the term
> opensource existed.  What have you contributed?

  Is this intimidation tactic a way of saying that you are _entitled_ to
  destroy and denigrate Common Lisp, but those who criticize you for it are
  not entitled to criticize because of their lack of contributions?  Where
  do you _get_ all this arrogance?  What are you trying to defend?

> Post something in comp.lang.lisp saying how you're denegrating the Common
> Lisp standard by inventing your own control macro?

  Why are you constantly _not_ getting that it is your very unintelligent
  insults that cause the majority of the hostility and not your very silly

> Why don't you now get on my case for including uses of these macros and
> not giving you the source code for the macros?

  Because it is your gratuitous insults that get people on your case, not
  your macros.  How _can_ you fail to understand this?  You act like a
  person who _knows_ he is guilty as sin and tries very, very hard to
  pretend he has done nothing wrong by trying to deflect all criticism.
  So many people have pointed out to you that this is about your attitude
  that it _must_ be a matter of will that you do not get it.  Otherwise, 23
  years of experience with that level of inability to understand things is
  not really worth a lot.

> That's a much better solution than telling someone who is doing you a
> favor by releasing his code for free to change his code to suit your
> personal coding standards.

  I remember three distinct occasions when I mailed real bug-fixes to your
  code and received _very_ hostile comments back that you could not use it
  because it used loop and if and when and unless.  I believe at least one
  of those incidents prompted your writing your digusting Lisp Coding
  Standards document.  Suffice to say that from then on, I viewed your
  ability to think straight to be permanently impaired.  The bugs were
  still unfixed for at least one release, by the way, and there are still
  bugs in that code: The symbol printer and reader in Allegro CL does not
  conform to the standard and violate print-read consistency expectations.
  After having tried to explain to you how you could have avoided those
  bugs, you simply failed to implement them because I use a much richer set
  of conditionals in Common Lisp than you do.  I do not string a whole
  bunch of if* together in an unreadable mass of spaghetti code, I choose
  the most readable form with care.  Therefore, I manage to find and fix
  such bugs only after converting the if* mess to something readable, while
  your code has been buggy for over a decade, but you do not wany my fixes.
  In other words, I have solid evidence that your personal coding standards
  are much more important to you than working, conforming Common Lisp.

> How dare you insinuate that I'm not enthusiastic about Common Lisp?

  Try reading your own language.  Try remembering how you react when people
  say that upper-case names symbols are required the standard.  Try
  actually _answering_ some of the many questions you have been asked, to
  which positive answers would really have helped, while double negatives
  really do not help at all.  Instead of attacking people with the above
  negative, try writing something _positive_ for a change.

> The programmers working in companies producing commercial Common Lisp
> systems are the most enthusiastic people about Common Lisp you will ever
> find.

  I would have expected some humility in such a statement, such as at least
  including a "probably" or "in my experience".  Making it sound like a
  universal truth means it can be shot down as false or dishonest with a
  single counter-example.   Such a universal statement is also an insult to
  the many people who clearly exceed you in terms of enthusiasm and a
  strong reason not to work with you.  This is probably what you want.

  The reason I have not applied for a job at Franz Inc. and probably never
  will is that your statement is manifestly untrue.  A few people at Franz
  Inc. have really gone out of their way to destroy the credibility of the
  standard, imply very strongly that you are in a market position where you
  can dictate the standard and lock people in.  Most of them fortunately
  quit and others have assured me that they really had no effect on policy,
  but they got _hired_.  I would have loved to work full time with most of
  your staff, but you, in particular, and a few others, have really managed
  to rub me the wrong way, and you, in particular, have done everything you
  can to make my insistence on conformance be unwelcome and result in no
  action when I point out conformance problems.  Your insane ranting here
  is not doing anything to help this, and your idiotic "religious zealot"
  stamp because I do not approve of your if* stunt and particularly do not
  approve of your constant need to denigrate the standard and the people
  behind it.  I have very high respect for some of the people you have
  spent _hours_ insulting to my face.  I have _none_ for you, anymore.  You
  have done more to destroy that respect in this thread than anything else
  you have done, however, including your pathetic passive-aggressvieness,
  your dishonesty, and your personal need to misrepresent me and _pretend_
  that you do not have a clue what I am talking about.

  I would have thought the most enthusiastic people about Common Lisp I
  would ever find would be a lot smarter about expressing it positively,
  and _definitely_ not so pathetically self-defensive about his own
  destructiveness as you are.

> My opinions are based on 23 years of programming experience in Lisp.

  I _really_ hope I have had more to contribute by the time that I have as
  much experience than some silly rewrite of cond and personal distaste for
  a powerful iteration macro.  Most of the other people who have had in
  excess of two decades of Lisp experience have been fantastically helpful
  to me and have imparted so much wisdom about the language that I feel
  that my 6-8 years of Common Lisp and Emacs Lisp have been much more,
  although I met my first Lisp in 1978 or 1980.  That is part of the reason
  I feel disappointed, and more than that, almost betrayed, when someone
  with so much more experience chooses to sully the language and present
  his experience as insulting comments about standard features.  (Again,
  never mind the infinitely silly if* macro -- it is of minimal material
  consequence compared to the insulting attitude -- it makes you look
  really ignorant and _far_ from really experienced.)