Subject: Re: What Part of Unspecified Does Kenny Not Understand?
From: (Rob Warnock)
Date: Wed, 14 May 2008 23:01:03 -0500
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>
Kent M Pitman  <> wrote:
| Edi Weitz <> writes:
| > The CLHS at is at version 4.0 while the one at
| > is at 7.0, presumably fixing a couple of issues with earlier versions.
| The issues were not major (and none are technical), but yes, there are
| some fixes, including a better index.

O.k., guys, I'll stop doing that unless/until the LispWorks version
gets mirrored at "". Just so you know, the main reasons I tend(ed)
to point at the ALU site are:

1. The URL(s) for Harlequin/Xanalys/LispWorks kept moving around
   right about the time I was starting to use CL in anger, and articles
   I posted ended up with broken CLHS links in the archives. (Bummer.)
   I had some hope that the ALU URLs would be more stable [but that
   hasn't always been the case, either, oh well].

2. I *hated* (and still dislike) the Franz version ("way too different"),
   so I never pointed to it.

3. I *prefer* the gray background [which, despite Kent's comment to
   the contrary, is *still* what I see with my browsers on both the
   ALU & LispWorks sites, but *not* at Franz's -- go figure].

4. I *prefer* the "long" filenames, since I have a little personal/local
   web-based CGI "grep" tool [though written in CL, not shell] that does
   pattern matches against the v4 filenames. [The "8.3" filenames on v.7
   (LispWorks) are *way* too short to do any meaningful matches on. Ugh.]
   And since the old Harlequin version (v4?) is what I have on my laptop,
   when I find a page locally it's just an exchange of URL prefix to
   convert my local URL to a globally-accessible URL on the ALU site.

5. And last but not least, it seemed to be somewhat of an imposition
   for us to *always* be beating up on LispWorks's web server, when
   we could spread the bandwidth load around a bit. [And the ALU server
   certainly was never very busy...]

Perhaps the "right" answer is to upload all three versions to some
neutral, "permanent", super-high-bandwidth site [SourceForge? GoogleCode?
other?] and offer a choice from a meta-cover page, maybe along with
a file (sexp, natch!) which relates the filenames of all three [or
more, if more variants are desired], e.g.:

    ((:franz_6.2  "dictentr/standard.htm")
     (:harlequin_v4 "Body/typ_standard-char.html")
     (:lispworks_v6 "Body/t_std_ch.htm"))

Then people could easily translate from one format to the other.

| Also, I got a complaint from someone who was dyslexic who said that a
| a partial "workaround" for that problem is to view things in high
| contrast, and who pleaded with me not to put it on a gray background.
| That's why it's on white these days, although it may just look like an
| artistic choice--certainly there's very little text-on-gray in the
| modern world compared to when the web was new.  I do personally find
| the white background easier to read.

I don't, as I said above. Only the Franz version shows up with a
white background in the browsers I use.

| > It also makes clearer that (the predecessors of) LispWorks - and not
| > the ALU - paid for the generation of the HyperSpec, own the rights to
| > it, and made it publicly available.
| LispWorks Ltd. presumably had to pay to acquire the assets they now
| enjoy, of course, so I think it's right and proper to say they paid for it.

But the ALU version gives full credit to Harlequin on every page!
Didn't Harlequin pay for the production of that version? (v4?)

| I do agree that having the site continue to point through to Harlequin
| is not fair to the people that made it, though.

What does "point through" mean, here? You mean the clickable Harlequin
logo in the upper-left-corner of each page? It only "points through"
if you click it -- the image itself is local to wherever the CLHS mirror
is hosted. [And if you *do* click it (though why would you?), it gets
redirected to <>, heh.]

| I have said in the past and I will say again: The correct solution to
| remaining vendor-neutral is for it to ALSO host other vendors'
| documentation (e.g., Franz's alternate spec) if it wants to do that,
| and to let individuals choose which to reference.

'Kay, fine. (See above.)

| But it does as it stands have the vague look of something that is
| trying hard to not acknowledge that Harlequin is no longer there
| and is trying hard not to accept that LispWorks is a viable vendor,
| making money, trying to solicit customers, and paying their dues...

Whoa! IMHO, you're reading *way* to much into the situation if
you're imputing that anybody is "trying hard" to do *anything*!!
Nobody's "trying" to acknowledge or *not* acknowledge anything
other than the text as it stands, which is unaltered from the date
the tarball was fetched. It's a totally passive historical accident.
A openly-copyable snapshot was taken at one point in time, and
nothing different is being "represented" by anyone as far as I know.
No hidden agendas in favor or against open-source, at least, not
in the CLHS sub-tree.

[I will not speak to the tone of the rest of the ALU site, other than
to note that <> says that "Non-Free...resources
can be found at the ALU wiki <>", implying that
the ALU site *isn't* as exclusively open-source oriented as the CLiki.
Likewise, <> mentions a full panoply
of both commercial vendors & open-source projects.]

| So I join with Edi in publicly requesting that someone fix the ALU
| web site.

If by "fix" you mean put all three versions up there with a
meta-cover page, then that sounds like a good idea in any case.
I'll talk to the chief maintainer and see what has to be done
to make it happen...


Rob Warnock			<>
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