Subject: Re: How I lost my faith (very long)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2002 11:55:19 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* "Marc Battyani" <>
| I don't know if you are new to Lisp but I can assure you that the Lisp
| community is growing again and more active each day.  The only thing that
| is needed is more people to contribute all those little libraries instead
| of whining that lisp is lacking them.

  Well...  It would be really nice if it were possible to provide a Common
  Lisp library for a virtual machine in a standard format that got compiled
  to native machine code either upon execution or importation into the
  system.  In order to offer a Common Lisp library today, you either have
  to have access to all Common Lisp implementations on all platforms you
  think your customers might need (and pay licenses for them), or provide
  source code.  I think this choice _really_ sucks.  From some of the
  discussions I have had with others who would like to offer libraries for
  Common Lisp environments that cost huge amounts of money to use, giving
  away things for free when there are other operators in the market who
  make a killing in license fees is unpalatable.  I am far from alone in
  this regard, and this is probably a much bigger "threat" to the market
  that would sustain Common Lisp than anything else.  That the same vendor
  who charges the heftiest license fees suddenly and without warning kill
  other commercial projects by offering something as Open Source, often
  with dubious quality, does not help.

  Open Source is in my view an overreaction to the evils of Microsoft and
  it has some "stopping power" towards the progress of those bad people,
  but I seriously doubt that it has lasting value in its own right.  For
  some cogent thinking on this topic, see this article: A New Paradigm in
  Intellectual Property Law?  The Case Against Open Sources.

  As for what I would really like to see implemented with all the Common
  Lisp implementations, I think Java got the virtual machine concept just
  right.  One may argue over the implementation and its many choices and
  tradeoffs, but specifying the language in terms of this virtual machine
  is a good thing, not the least because lots and lots of code can be
  shared without having to share source code, including comments, internal
  functionality, etc, which one would not like to share as such even though
  it is necessary support functionality for the shared functionality.

  In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none.
  In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief.