Subject: Re: Tail recursion & CL
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2001 15:01:27 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Juliusz Chroboczek <>
| The existence of the Common Lisp standard, which I regard as a brilliant
| example of how it is possible to be intelectually rigorous without
| relying on formal tools, seems to imply that at least part of the Common
| Lisp community shares this view.

  I wonder if anyone does _not_ share it.  Seriously.  The resistance to
  "formal tools" is, however, pretty strong among those who have studied
  Scheme well and are sick and tired of completely fruitless formalisms
  that turn into huge implementation costs or restrictions on the freedom
  of the implementors.  If there is one lesson one learns from having dealt
  with many language specifications, it is that overspecifying is far worse
  than underspecifying.

  It seems to me that you are fighting an enemy that does not exist when
  you argue as if there are people who do not share what you have written
  and it seems pretty arrogant that yours is the only way to express or
  desire the values and results of "rigor".  I actually think _everybody_
  here are sufficiently well educated that you should presume that their
  objections to "formalism" is to their application, not the principles.
  Thus, it does not help to argue for the principles when peple are opposed
  to their application.  Quite the contrary, arguing for the principles
  when the application is challenged only makes people more hostile to the
  application, because it implies that you think the principles are not
  understood unless they are agreed to be applied just your way.

  I also think what Tim Bradshaw said here is very relevant: As long as you
  only ask for something that meet objections, there will be no progress.
  Write up an _exact_ proposal for what you want the community to agree to,
  and you might actually find people able to accomodate you, but if you
  only demand something that people have serious objections to, there is no
  way anyone can figure out what you are _really_ after, i.e., what you
  would be happy if you got.  In general, if people cannot figure out when
  your complaints will end, you lose credibility fast, as it is essentially
  indistinguishable from an attitude problem.

  My hero, George W. Bush, has taught me how to deal with people.  "Make no
  mistake", he has said about 2500 times in the past three weeks, and those
  who make mistakes now feel his infinite wrath, or was that enduring care?