Subject: Re: A lisp challenge.
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 10:00:37 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Damond Walker
| In my short career (12 years) I've seen many problems/applications
| which were "not well specified."
| Are you talking about problems which are *hard* to specify or are we
| talking about systems with just a *poor* definition?

  In my experience, the most interesting problems are very different before
  and after they have a solution.  If you implement the problem as it was
  understood before it had a real solution, you have one more problem.  If
  you try to understand the problem as you keep trying to solve it, you may
  end up with a lot fewer problems than you solved.  I find it extremely
  hard to do this in languages that require (1) an enormous amount of
  typing to get anything useful done, and (2) an enormous amount of
  thinking to get anything useful typed.

  Now, since problems to which we already have one correct solution are
  hardly _problems_ any longer, I consider only the problems that have no
  solution to be worth solving, and quite frequently, the solution to such
  a problem is to discover that it really is a different problem.  This is
  what understand "not well specified" to mean in a Common Lisp context.
  In a C++ context, such a problem would just be dumb to give to a coder.

  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.