Subject: Re: Difference between LISP and C++
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 01 Nov 2002 15:06:51 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Joe Marshall <>
| Yes, but byte-code is hardly an amazing (or even original) technical
| achievement.

  I wonder if you are intentionally blind here.  Java is more than a
  byte-code engine.  It is a /deployed/ byte-code engine for starters.
  Engineering is not only design and having some neat idea.  Engineering is
  actually getting something done with the available resources.

  If you look at things only as "inventions" and criticize some invention
  for not being terribly smart, another and better invention may very well
  replace it at no relevant cost.  If, however, you look at the cost of
  deployment of any invention, you realize that /engineering/ is indeed
  capable of producing feats with inventions that are not earth-shattering
  on their own.  Like, electricity is no big deal.  Giving a billion people
  stable electricity is a major feat of engineering.  Like, heavier-than-air
  flight is no big deal.  Building up an global network of airports and
  airways and allowing people to cross vast oceans in a manner of hours and
  only have to work a week to afford it, is a major feat of engineering as
  well as business.  Building a Common Lisp environment is no big deal,
  either.  But doing it for pay and staying in business for 20 years and
  giving 50 people a decent livelihood with the profits, is an admirable
  feat of both engineering and business.

  Sometimes, technological advances pale in comparison to deployment.

  And before anyone brings up how great Microsoft is, I think massacring
  several million people because of some political idea before anyone stops
  you is also an admirable feat of political leadership.

  One must be able to admire only aspects of something without having to be
  dragged into debates over other qualities.  This belongs in the "thinking
  before feeling" discussion.

Erik Naggum, Oslo, Norway

Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder.
Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.