village idiot

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scav50

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May 14, 2003, 12:49:10 AM5/14/03
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as almost every sizeable programming team, we have our own half-witted
moron who just doest seem to get fired no matter how he screws up. but
that's not enough for our idiot. this pest has to annoy everyone every
month by telling us how great some crap we are not using really is,
and how we should all switch. this month the crap de jour is lisp. the
moron i'm talking about read a little bit of slashdot and online
tutorials, and thinks we should use it. to my surprise, the management
actually got fascinated by the promises of "intelligent web" that they
apparently think could be smarter than the customers themselves and
somehow tell them what they want to buy (the AI bubble of the '80s all
over again) so they started looking into this and asked me to write a
report on the feasibility of using lisp for our application to deliver
this "intelligent content". (the fact is that i'm the only one who has
actual real-world lisp experience) so now, instead of doing actual
work in java and c++, because of this local moron, i have to waste my
time on this. so to all you slashdot-wielding and usenet-spamming lisp
evangelists i have to say this: before preaching something, learn the
fucking subject. before you say that lisp is easy, try actually
learning it! look at lispers with 10-20 year experience who argue
about what a three-line snippet supposed and not supposed to do, what
figging variables get bound, unbound, re-bound, shaddowed, what gets
unwound, and what doesn't. if you think destructor semantics are
obscure when combined with multiple inheritance, or that method
overloading coupled with templates attract bugs - you aint seen
nothing yet. before you pretend to be an intellectual and proclaim
that other languages can be defined on top of lisp, write a hygienic
"defmacro" replacement usable with the same syntax, but that isn't
vulnerable to variable capture and inadvertant multiple argument
evaluations, unless explicitly requested. do this without re-writing
half of the compiler. no? you can't? then stfu! even guy steele, the
author of lisp standard came to realize the crappiness of the
language, so he had to create a new one - scheme (also a pile of
shit). paul graham, the celebrated author of lisp books, couldn't help
but call lisp "awkward" in On Lisp. is this convincing enough? sorry,
i had to vent. i think i finally collected my thoughts for the
'report'.

Ashish

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May 14, 2003, 12:53:54 AM5/14/03
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"scav50" <sca...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:e0a34273.03051...@posting.google.com...

Way to go!

Espen Vestre

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May 14, 2003, 2:48:29 AM5/14/03
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sca...@yahoo.com (scav50) writes:

> so to all you slashdot-wielding and usenet-spamming lisp
> evangelists i have to say this: before preaching something, learn the
> fucking subject. before you say that lisp is easy, try actually
> learning it!

Hmmm. I think I have to adjust my troll- and irony detectors, they
freaked out on this article.
--
(espen)

Coby Beck

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May 14, 2003, 2:50:27 AM5/14/03
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Judging from the title and the content, this is quite the autobiography...


--
Coby Beck
(remove #\Space "coby 101 @ bigpond . com")

"scav50" <sca...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:e0a34273.03051...@posting.google.com...

Joona I Palaste

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May 14, 2003, 3:13:21 AM5/14/03
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scav50 <sca...@yahoo.com> scribbled the following
on comp.lang.java.programmer:

You used two capital letters on the third-from-last line. Are you
slipping?

--
/-- Joona Palaste (pal...@cc.helsinki.fi) ---------------------------\
| Kingpriest of "The Flying Lemon Tree" G++ FR FW+ M- #108 D+ ADA N+++|
| http://www.helsinki.fi/~palaste W++ B OP+ |
\----------------------------------------- Finland rules! ------------/
"Stronger, no. More seductive, cunning, crunchier the Dark Side is."
- Mika P. Nieminen

Ian Wild

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May 14, 2003, 3:25:05 AM5/14/03
to
scav50 wrote:
>
> as almost every sizeable programming team, we have our own half-witted
> moron who just doest seem to get fired ...

"Doest"? Too much reading of the KJV, I'd guess.

> sorry,
> i had to vent. i think i finally collected my thoughts for the
> 'report'.

You might also want to collect a few capital letters
to use in your report. (Or maybe insist on using
a language where case isn't that important.)

T.M. Sommers

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May 14, 2003, 3:32:04 AM5/14/03
to
Ian Wild wrote:
>
> You might also want to collect a few capital letters
> to use in your report. (Or maybe insist on using
> a language where case isn't that important.)

Like Lisp.

ghl

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May 14, 2003, 9:13:20 AM5/14/03
to
"scav50" <sca...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:e0a34273.03051...@posting.google.com...
> as almost every sizeable programming team, we have our own half-witted
> moron who just doest seem to get fired no matter how he screws up. but
> that's not enough for our idiot. this pest has to annoy everyone every
> month by telling us how great some crap we are not using really is,
> and how we should all switch. this month the crap de jour is lisp. the
<<big snip of more complaints>>

Let's assume this is for real (survey says....)
Write a report. Add some capitals. Suggest that this guy (your nemesis) is
assigned to do a pilot project using Lisp and (oh, say) Linux. Set a
reasonable time-limit of six months and suggest he be given an office
off-site where he can really concentrate on the work.

Now he's out of your hair for six months!

(BTW, that little line between the e and s of the last line is an
apostrophe. Look it up.)
--
Gary


Johan Kullstam

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May 14, 2003, 9:21:22 AM5/14/03
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Ian Wild <i...@cfmu.eurocontrol.be> writes:

Forget the capital letters, I want a paragraph break!

--
Johan KULLSTAM <kulls...@attbi.com> sysengr

Paolo Amoroso

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May 14, 2003, 9:49:22 AM5/14/03
to
[followup posted to comp.lang.lisp only]

sca...@yahoo.com (scav50) wrote in message news:<e0a34273.03051...@posting.google.com>...

> and how we should all switch. this month the crap de jour is lisp. the
> moron i'm talking about read a little bit of slashdot and online
> tutorials, and thinks we should use it. to my surprise, the management
> actually got fascinated by the promises of "intelligent web" that they
> apparently think could be smarter than the customers themselves and
> somehow tell them what they want to buy (the AI bubble of the '80s all
> over again) so they started looking into this and asked me to write a
> report on the feasibility of using lisp for our application to deliver
> this "intelligent content". (the fact is that i'm the only one who has

You should actually thank your local moron. You can just write a half
page report where you mention the "AI bubble" (be sure not to forget
the AI winter). It will take a few minutes. He spared you the trouble
of doing actual research and, God forbid, use your brain.


> but call lisp "awkward" in On Lisp. is this convincing enough? sorry,

No.


Paolo

Drew McDermott

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May 14, 2003, 10:56:30 AM5/14/03
to
scav50 wrote:
> to my surprise, the management
> actually got fascinated by the promises of "intelligent web" that they
> apparently think could be smarter than the customers themselves and
> somehow tell them what they want to buy (the AI bubble of the '80s all
> over again) so they started looking into this and asked me to write a
> report on the feasibility of using lisp for our application to deliver
> this "intelligent content".

You'll be doing your management a big favor if you tell them that the
notion is silly that writing a program in Lisp makes it more likely to
deliver "intelligent" anything. It's just a programming language, for
chrissake! Be sure to take a couple of Valium before trying to talk to
them, though.

-- Drew McDermott

Kumade Khawi

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May 14, 2003, 11:22:55 AM5/14/03
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"T.M. Sommers" <tm...@mail.ptd.net> wrote in message news:<3EC1F03B...@mail.ptd.net>...

Well, like many other things in life, it all depends on your *readtable*.

Wade Humeniuk

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May 14, 2003, 11:49:03 AM5/14/03
to

"scav50" <sca...@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:e0a34273.03051...@posting.google.com...
> over again) so they started looking into this and asked me to write a
> report on the feasibility of using lisp for our application to deliver
> this "intelligent content". (the fact is that i'm the only one who has
> actual real-world lisp experience) so now, instead of doing actual
> work in java and c++, because of this local moron, i have to waste my
> time on this. so to all you slashdot-wielding and usenet-spamming lisp
> evangelists i have to say this: before preaching something, learn the
> fucking subject. before you say that lisp is easy, try actually

Just because something takes hard work does not mean it is
not useful. Lots of things in life take hard work to learn and to
use (just ask my surgeon, a real professional).
I'm sorry to hear you think management hoisted an
impossible task (and more work) upon your head. But its the
nature of the beast. Maybe you can just go back and do the
easy work of assembling pre-existing components in Java and
C++.

Life is hard and learning is even harder.

Wade

Christian Lynbech

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May 14, 2003, 11:43:06 AM5/14/03
to
>>>>> "Ian" == Ian Wild <i...@cfmu.eurocontrol.be> writes:

Ian> You might also want to collect a few capital letters
Ian> to use in your report.

I think the report will be in all uppercase letters, he has used up
all the lowercase ones.

Long live the teletype experince.


------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------
Christian Lynbech | christian #\@ defun #\. dk
------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------
Hit the philistines three times over the head with the Elisp reference manual.
- pet...@hal.com (Michael A. Petonic)

Joseph Cipale

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May 14, 2003, 11:58:49 AM5/14/03
to

Well.. he was ranting against lisp... ~grins... remebering my experience
with lsip... {shudder}~
--
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Mark Meyer

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May 14, 2003, 11:54:41 AM5/14/03
to
In our last episode, scav50 wrote:
> ... even guy steele, the author of lisp standard came to realize

> the crappiness of the language, so he had to create a new one -
> scheme (also a pile of shit). ...

I disagree. call/cc rocks! :-)


--
Mark Meyer mme...@raytheon.com
Raytheon Voice (972)344-0830 Fax (972)344-6840

Thaddeus L Olczyk

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May 14, 2003, 1:12:17 PM5/14/03
to
On Wed, 14 May 2003 10:54:41 -0500, Mark Meyer <mme...@raytheon.com>
wrote:

>In our last episode, scav50 wrote:
>> ... even guy steele, the author of lisp standard came to realize
>> the crappiness of the language, so he had to create a new one -
> > scheme (also a pile of shit). ...
>
>I disagree. call/cc rocks! :-)

call/cc is not the only difference between Lisp and Scheme.

--------------------------------------------------
Thaddeus L. Olczyk, PhD
Think twice, code once.

Kaz Kylheku

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May 14, 2003, 2:00:01 PM5/14/03
to
sca...@yahoo.com (scav50) wrote in message news:<e0a34273.03051...@posting.google.com>...
> as almost every sizeable programming team, we have our own half-witted
> moron who just doest seem to get fired no matter how he screws up.

Who is that one person that has always been on every programming team
you have ever been on? Who is that person who never joined a team
later than you did, and never left the team sooner than you? Answer
that question, and you have the identity of the moron.

Fred Gilham

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May 14, 2003, 2:58:54 PM5/14/03
to

Mark Meyer <mme...@raytheon.com> writes:

> In our last episode, scav50 wrote:
> > ... even guy steele, the author of lisp standard came to realize
> > the crappiness of the language, so he had to create a new one -
> > scheme (also a pile of shit). ...
>
> I disagree. call/cc rocks! :-)

Maybe he thinks Guy Steele used call/cc to write Scheme after he wrote
the Lisp Standard? That is, he saved a continuation back in 1974,
then got to Common Lisp, then decided it was crappy, then used the
continuation to backtrack, whereupon he wrote Scheme to fix the
problems that would later arise in Common Lisp. To cover up his
tracks, he even went on to claim that Common Lisp was descended from
Scheme.

That would make call/cc one helluva language construct.

But since he would have had to have used call/cc before he did Scheme,
I wonder what language it was implemented in?

I'm speculating that the above is true because it is far more probable
than the alternative, which is that the original poster didn't have
the faintest idea what he was talking about and got the facts wrong.

One thing that worries me. Has that continuation been garbage
collected yet, or can Steele still go back and fiddle with history?

--
Fred Gilham gil...@csl.sri.com
"If I'm going to get paged at 3 in the morning, I'd like it to at
least be my fault, and I'd also like a fighting chance of fixing the
problem." -- Tim Moore, arguing for professional open-source tools

Joe Marshall

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May 14, 2003, 3:04:06 PM5/14/03
to
Fred Gilham <gil...@snapdragon.csl.sri.com> writes:

> Mark Meyer <mme...@raytheon.com> writes:
>
> > In our last episode, scav50 wrote:
> > > ... even guy steele, the author of lisp standard came to realize
> > > the crappiness of the language, so he had to create a new one -
> > > scheme (also a pile of shit). ...
> >
> > I disagree. call/cc rocks! :-)
>
> Maybe he thinks Guy Steele used call/cc to write Scheme after he wrote
> the Lisp Standard? That is, he saved a continuation back in 1974,
> then got to Common Lisp, then decided it was crappy, then used the
> continuation to backtrack, whereupon he wrote Scheme to fix the
> problems that would later arise in Common Lisp. To cover up his
> tracks, he even went on to claim that Common Lisp was descended from
> Scheme.
>
> That would make call/cc one helluva language construct.
>
> But since he would have had to have used call/cc before he did Scheme,
> I wonder what language it was implemented in?

He didn't. He just used `universe-passing-style'.

Michael Livshin

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May 14, 2003, 3:08:39 PM5/14/03
to
Joe Marshall <j...@ccs.neu.edu> writes:

> Fred Gilham <gil...@snapdragon.csl.sri.com> writes:
>
>> But since he would have had to have used call/cc before he did Scheme,
>> I wonder what language it was implemented in?
>
> He didn't. He just used `universe-passing-style'.

in fact, there is no need to pass anything anywhere. the Universe is
a monad.

--
All ITS machines now have hardware for a new machine instruction --
CIZ
Clear If Zero.
Please update your programs.

William D Clinger

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May 14, 2003, 4:48:34 PM5/14/03
to
> You'll be doing your management a big favor if you tell them that the
> notion is silly that writing a program in Lisp makes it more likely to
> deliver "intelligent" anything. It's just a programming language, for
> chrissake! Be sure to take a couple of Valium before trying to talk to
> them, though.
>
> -- Drew McDermott

Programming languages are like running shoes. The best shoes in the
world aren't going to make you much faster...but I don't recall any
track and field athletes who have won an Olympic medal while wearing
cowboy boots.

OTOH...

Will

_ XL1201 _ Sebek _ Budo _ Kafka @hotmail.com Franz Kafka

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May 14, 2003, 5:09:01 PM5/14/03
to

"scav50" <sca...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:e0a34273.03051...@posting.google.com...
> as almost every sizeable programming team, we have our own half-witted
> moron who just doest seem to get fired no matter how he screws up. but
> that's not enough for our idiot. this pest has to annoy everyone every
> month by telling us how great some crap we are not using really is,
> and how we should all switch. this month the crap de jour is lisp.

BTW, Is the village idiots name marc spitzer?
at least he won't use FSF/GPLed software ;)
but he'll whine to the management that he can't


Pascal Bourguignon

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May 14, 2003, 5:14:25 PM5/14/03
to

At least one have barefooted though.

--
__Pascal_Bourguignon__ http://www.informatimago.com/
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Do not adjust your mind, there is a fault in reality.

Marc Spitzer

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May 14, 2003, 5:51:05 PM5/14/03
to

Well at leas you spelled my name right, cut and past is not beyond
you.

Now you realize that the above action actually hurts your credibility.

You are engaging in a personnel attack in an unrelated thread, this
generally means you admitted you lost the discussion.

you dumb fuck

marc

scav50

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May 14, 2003, 5:57:37 PM5/14/03
to
k...@ashi.footprints.net (Kaz Kylheku) wrote in message news:<cf333042.03051...@posting.google.com>...


i can see how you could have induced this rule from your own
experience. however, you failed to realize that it may not apply to
others. why don't you go expand a macro or backtrace something? make
yourself appear useful.

_ XL1201 _ Sebek _ Budo _ Kafka @hotmail.com Franz Kafka

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May 14, 2003, 6:09:28 PM5/14/03
to

"Marc Spitzer" <mspi...@optonline.net> wrote in message
news:86he7xb...@bogomips.optonline.net...

> "Franz Kafka" <Symbolics _ XL1201 _ Sebek _ Budo _ Kafka @ hotmail . com>
writes:
>
> > "scav50" <sca...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> > news:e0a34273.03051...@posting.google.com...
> > > as almost every sizeable programming team, we have our own half-witted
> > > moron who just doest seem to get fired no matter how he screws up. but
> > > that's not enough for our idiot. this pest has to annoy everyone every
> > > month by telling us how great some crap we are not using really is,
> > > and how we should all switch. this month the crap de jour is lisp.
> >
> > BTW, Is the village idiots name marc spitzer?
> > at least he won't use FSF/GPLed software ;)
> > but he'll whine to the management that he can't
>
> Well at leas you spelled my name right, cut and past is not beyond
> you.
>
> Now you realize that the above action actually hurts your credibility.

What credibility? You think my name is Franz Kafka, a famous German author
:)


>
> You are engaging in a personnel attack in an unrelated thread, this
> generally means you admitted you lost the discussion.

I have lost nothing. When you exit comp.lang.lisp I will
execute (setf *erik-n-insult-mode* nil) and win :)
I only execute (setf *erik-n-insult-mode* t) when
#'losers-p or #'lame-coders-p or #'moronic-retards-ranting-p
starts returning t -- your post sets of the functions off :)
>
> you dumb fuck
See the other insults I posted in the other thread. I one about you
getting free sex /w AIDS is killer :)
>
> marc

marc's spell checker works ;) leas, past


Marc Spitzer

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May 14, 2003, 6:16:29 PM5/14/03
to
"Franz Kafka" <Symbolics _ XL1201 _ Sebek _ Budo _ Kafka @ hotmail . com> writes:

> "Marc Spitzer" <mspi...@optonline.net> wrote in message
> news:86he7xb...@bogomips.optonline.net...
> > "Franz Kafka" <Symbolics _ XL1201 _ Sebek _ Budo _ Kafka @ hotmail . com>
> writes:
> >
> > > "scav50" <sca...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> > > news:e0a34273.03051...@posting.google.com...
> > > > as almost every sizeable programming team, we have our own half-witted
> > > > moron who just doest seem to get fired no matter how he screws up. but
> > > > that's not enough for our idiot. this pest has to annoy everyone every
> > > > month by telling us how great some crap we are not using really is,
> > > > and how we should all switch. this month the crap de jour is lisp.
> > >
> > > BTW, Is the village idiots name marc spitzer?
> > > at least he won't use FSF/GPLed software ;)
> > > but he'll whine to the management that he can't
> >
> > Well at leas you spelled my name right, cut and past is not beyond
> > you.
> >
> > Now you realize that the above action actually hurts your credibility.
>
> What credibility? You think my name is Franz Kafka, a famous German author
> :)

I gave you the benifit of the doubt.

Funny my name is Marc Spitzer.

Now why do you hide what you are unless you know what you post?

marc

larry

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May 14, 2003, 6:50:25 PM5/14/03
to
sca...@yahoo.com (scav50) wrote in message news:<e0a34273.03051...@posting.google.com>...
> as almost every sizeable programming team, we have our own half-witted
> moron who just doest seem to get fired no matter how he screws up.

Your rants against Lisp seem like your rant against this alleged moron--
no matter how much Lisp sucks and screws programmers up, Lisp just won't
die and people continue (or even insist) on using it.
Maybe if this alleged moron never gets fired he isn't really a moron and so maybe...

scav50

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May 14, 2003, 7:17:49 PM5/14/03
to
Fred Gilham <gil...@snapdragon.csl.sri.com> wrote in message news:<u7k7ctp...@snapdragon.csl.sri.com>...

> Mark Meyer <mme...@raytheon.com> writes:
>
> > In our last episode, scav50 wrote:
> > > ... even guy steele, the author of lisp standard came to realize
> > > the crappiness of the language, so he had to create a new one -
> > > scheme (also a pile of shit). ...
> >
> > I disagree. call/cc rocks! :-)
>
> Maybe he thinks Guy Steele used call/cc to write Scheme after he wrote
> the Lisp Standard? That is, he saved a continuation back in 1974,
> then got to Common Lisp, then decided it was crappy, then used the
> continuation to backtrack, whereupon he wrote Scheme to fix the
> problems that would later arise in Common Lisp. To cover up his
> tracks, he even went on to claim that Common Lisp was descended from
> Scheme.
>
> That would make call/cc one helluva language construct.
>
> But since he would have had to have used call/cc before he did Scheme,
> I wonder what language it was implemented in?
>
> I'm speculating that the above is true because it is far more probable
> than the alternative, which is that the original poster didn't have
> the faintest idea what he was talking about and got the facts wrong.
>
> One thing that worries me. Has that continuation been garbage
> collected yet, or can Steele still go back and fiddle with history?

bravo! i salute the master!

on a more serious note, you need to get your facts straight: i never
said that cltl1 was written before it was realized lisp was crap (at
least by those using it at the time). after all, the lisp they were
using back then was closely related to, but even worse than, modern
lisp. the cltl1 book simply tried to formalize existing lisp practice,
after AI acedemics refused to switch to scheme.

i'm going to answer others who replied in this message. to the guy who
suggested paragraph breaks - i will accept that as constructive
criticism. to the puke-stained twits who want capitalized sentences -
you may never understand it, but period '.' is generally enough to
denote full stop. i only use semantics-free junk in the most formal
writing.

my original intent was to let out my feelings about dimwits who run
around advocating things they don't understand, regardless of their
cause. but i'm also glad that i made my opinion on lisp known:

lisp evangelists like to dispel "rumors" about common lisp - "rumors"
that it is slow, big, unpopular, incapable of interoperating with
other systems, non-orthogonal in design and so on. if lisp is in fact
none of those things, how do you think these "rumors" got started?
don't bother answering this - i'm sure it was a conspiracy by the same
people who killed kennedy.

what would c++ users say if stroustrup said "i'm sorry, i made a big
mistake, the nonsense stops now"? the fact is, the most prominent lisp
figures eventually understood their misconceptions and turned their
backs on lisp (more or less):

+ peter norvig is into python now

+ paul graham says lisp is "awkward" in On Lisp. he also mentions
feeling like on vacation in a dentist chair, when he was working on a
lisp project (see the article about hackers and painters) - not
exactly an expression of joy.

+ guy steele - well, we just discussed him.

at least i respect these guys and their intellectual honesty. the only
people who advocate lisp now are shills for commercial implementations
and the cerebrally-challenged schmucks who believe them.

another lisp myth is that new languages can be written in it using
macros. what a nutty notion! lisp macros are nothing but c macros,
only slower, with brackets outside, and the whole lisp system
available for preprocessor abuse at compile time! again, if lisp was
the ultimate programmable programming language, why does it suck so
bad in its original "deprogrammed" state? See what i wrote about
"defmacro" earlier.

if you want to use lisp - fine, just don't shove it down the throats
of people who know better.

Edi Weitz

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May 14, 2003, 7:32:21 PM5/14/03
to
sca...@yahoo.com (scav50) writes:

> + paul graham says lisp is "awkward" in On Lisp. he also mentions
> feeling like on vacation in a dentist chair, when he was working on
> a lisp project (see the article about hackers and painters) - not
> exactly an expression of joy.

You should seriously consider working on your reading and
comprehension skills and then read that article[1] again. I guess you
might be able to understand what Graham really said in a couple of
years.

> at least i respect these guys and their intellectual honesty. the
> only people who advocate lisp now are shills for commercial
> implementations and the cerebrally-challenged schmucks who believe
> them.

So, if Lisp is doomed to fail and vanish from this planet why do you
spend your valuable time fighting against it? Just chill, wait another
40 years or so and it'll probably be gone...

Edi.

[1] <http://www.paulgraham.com/hp.html>

_ XL1201 _ Sebek _ Budo _ Kafka @hotmail.com Franz Kafka

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May 14, 2003, 7:44:44 PM5/14/03
to

"scav50" <sca...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:e0a34273.03051...@posting.google.com...
Lisp macro's are used to write worms ;) Google for 'Lisp Worm'
not languages. (Lisp is good for writing compilers.)
Your moron iff is a real moron who does not know Lisp will not
be able to write a compiler, or interpeter (four lines of code)
in Lisp.

(defun lisp-interpeter ()
(loop
(print "Lisp> ") ;; prints Lisp>
(print (eval (read))) ;; intepets Lisp
)
) ;; not the best func. just shows how lisp is used. :)

Let him use Lisp--if he is requesting it he should be using it. I'd love it
if I could use Lisp. Forget the A.I. part--it handles pointer & memory
management. Has a garbage collector, does not have strict typing.
It allows someone who knows how to use it to write code quickly--
if your a moron it won't be good code. IMHO, management should require
developers use an ANSI, IEEE, ISO language but not force them to use
C/C++/Awk/Perl/Lisp/Scheme/Forth but let them use
the lang. that they know. -- they could get a lot more work done, and
be happy about their lang. choice.

I like Lisp because I can code on the fly, without designing my program--I
can also rewrite a running program.

+ I don't get along /w pointers, but I get along with binding issues,
lexical issues--I never dumped a core because of a Lisp problem.

But, than again I know how to use the lang.

I have read David T's 'Symbolic Computation: A Gentile Guide To Common
Lisp.' Avail. for free on-line. IMHO, one of the best books to teach a newbe
Lisp even if he never programmed before.

&

Peter Novig's 'Principals of Artificial Intelligence Programming.'

both excellent books.

If your moron read's David T's book he should understand how to use Common
Lisp--even if he never programmed before.

Peter Novig's book is an excellent overview of using Lisp for A.I.,
+ how to increase the effenceny of Lisp.

all of the other resources tend to confuse rather than enlighten.

But, I am still waiting for a good Lisp that can generate Windows EXE files,
and interface /w C/C++/Java Librarys.

IMHHTGO, the dynamic typing of vars. in Lisp makes it easier to write code
because you don't have to declear vars. in Lisp functions unless you want
to.

& why should I do what I can have my language do. :)
I want to hack, not design.

P.S.

BTW, you said you were a Lisp programmer--what turned you off to Lisp? or
are you just venting because the moron does not know Lisp? David T's book
will help him learn--iff it is possible.

(defun fact (x)
(if (zerop x) ;; is x = 0
1
(* x (fact (- x 1))))) ;; x * fact(x-1)

int fact(int x) {
if (x == 0) {
return 1;
}
else {
return x * fact(x-1);
}
}

Lisp's fact an handle larger numbers, and returns huge numbers /w thousands
of digits--C/C++/Java do not.

I can do (fact 1000) in my Lisp
and get a large many thousand digit number returned.

I can do fact(1000); in my C++/Java and
get a core dump returned. ;)

Lisp is not only used for A.I.
C++/Java can be used for NuralNetworks & Genetic Alogrthms,
Lisp/Prolog is used for Expert Systems.


Espen Vestre

unread,
May 15, 2003, 3:06:51 AM5/15/03
to
sca...@yahoo.com (scav50) writes:

> other systems, non-orthogonal in design and so on. if lisp is in fact
> none of those things, how do you think these "rumors" got started?

Excersise for you:

Scientists say that the concept of 'human races' is nonsense.
So where do you think racism comes from?

> lisp macros are nothing but c macros,

O.K. You ARE a troll. Bye-bye.

--
(espen)

Christian Lynbech

unread,
May 15, 2003, 8:52:10 AM5/15/03
to
>>>>> "scav50" == scav50 <sca...@yahoo.com> writes:

scav50> what would c++ users say if stroustrup said "i'm sorry, i made a big
scav50> mistake, the nonsense stops now"?

Would you seriously believe that C++ would scatter in all directions
just because Stroustrup denounced C++.

Have you ever met anybody actually being fond of Cobol? I haven't but
Cobol is by no means dead yet.

sacv50> the fact is, the most prominent lisp figures eventually
sacv50> understood their misconceptions and turned their backs on lisp
sacv50> (more or less):
scav50> + peter norvig
scav50> + paul graham
scav50> + guy steele

This is very amusing, but:

- how strong is the above argument when qualified with "more or less"

- how did the list of prominent lisp figures get to only hold 3
persons (or is the criteria of prominence that they can be
construed to dislike lisp)? What makes John McCarthy non-prominent
for instance?

- how hard is Paul Graham turning his back on lisp when he is trying
to construct a new lisp?

Thaddeus L Olczyk

unread,
May 15, 2003, 10:02:13 AM5/15/03
to
On Thu, 15 May 2003 14:52:10 +0200, Christian Lynbech
<christia...@ted.ericsson.se> wrote:

>>>>>> "scav50" == scav50 <sca...@yahoo.com> writes:
>
>scav50> what would c++ users say if stroustrup said "i'm sorry, i made a big
>scav50> mistake, the nonsense stops now"?
>
>Would you seriously believe that C++ would scatter in all directions
>just because Stroustrup denounced C++.
>
>Have you ever met anybody actually being fond of Cobol? I haven't but
>Cobol is by no means dead yet.
>
>sacv50> the fact is, the most prominent lisp figures eventually
>sacv50> understood their misconceptions and turned their backs on lisp
>sacv50> (more or less):
>scav50> + peter norvig
>scav50> + paul graham
>scav50> + guy steele
>
>This is very amusing, but:
>
> - how strong is the above argument when qualified with "more or less"
>
> - how did the list of prominent lisp figures get to only hold 3
> persons (or is the criteria of prominence that they can be
> construed to dislike lisp)? What makes John McCarthy non-prominent
> for instance?
>

You and he forgot to include Gregor Kiczales.
Of course we all these people are under the pressure of TPTB to
recant. For these guys, it's either trash Lisp or lose their jobs.

> - how hard is Paul Graham turning his back on lisp when he is trying
> to construct a new lisp?

He's not trying to construct a new lisp,he's rying to construct a new
lisp-like language. It's evenhard to say that the language is
lisp-like.

Ashish

unread,
May 15, 2003, 11:05:19 AM5/15/03
to

"scav50" <sca...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:e0a34273.03051...@posting.google.com...
> as almost every sizeable programming team, we have our own half-witted
> moron who just doest seem to get fired no matter how he screws up. but
> that's not enough for our idiot. this pest has to annoy everyone every
> month by telling us how great some crap we are not using really is,
> and how we should all switch. this month the crap de jour is lisp. the
> moron i'm talking about read a little bit of slashdot and online
> tutorials, and thinks we should use it. to my surprise, the management

> actually got fascinated by the promises of "intelligent web" that they
> apparently think could be smarter than the customers themselves and
> somehow tell them what they want to buy (the AI bubble of the '80s all
> over again) so they started looking into this and asked me to write a
> report on the feasibility of using lisp for our application to deliver
> this "intelligent content". (the fact is that i'm the only one who has
> actual real-world lisp experience) so now, instead of doing actual
> work in java and c++, because of this local moron, i have to waste my
> time on this. so to all you slashdot-wielding and usenet-spamming lisp
> evangelists i have to say this: before preaching something, learn the
> fucking subject. before you say that lisp is easy, try actually
> learning it! look at lispers with 10-20 year experience who argue
> about what a three-line snippet supposed and not supposed to do, what
> figging variables get bound, unbound, re-bound, shaddowed, what gets
> unwound, and what doesn't. if you think destructor semantics are
> obscure when combined with multiple inheritance, or that method
> overloading coupled with templates attract bugs - you aint seen
> nothing yet. before you pretend to be an intellectual and proclaim
> that other languages can be defined on top of lisp, write a hygienic
> "defmacro" replacement usable with the same syntax, but that isn't
> vulnerable to variable capture and inadvertant multiple argument
> evaluations, unless explicitly requested. do this without re-writing
> half of the compiler. no? you can't? then stfu! even guy steele, the

> author of lisp standard came to realize the crappiness of the
> language, so he had to create a new one - scheme (also a pile of
> shit). paul graham, the celebrated author of lisp books, couldn't help
> but call lisp "awkward" in On Lisp. is this convincing enough? sorry,

> i had to vent. i think i finally collected my thoughts for the
> 'report'.

What is this argument all about? Some guy in your office acts stupid; as a
result of which you are made to do something that you hate from the bottom
of your heart. Wont you be mad? I would be. But again, this isnt the proper
forum for such discussions, so you might as well carry on.


--
-Ashish
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi! I'm a shareware signature! Send $5 if you use me, send $10 for manual!
http://www.123ashish.com


Paolo Amoroso

unread,
May 15, 2003, 1:00:03 PM5/15/03
to
[followup posted to comp.lang.lisp only; crossposting is a potential sign
of evangelism]

On 14 May 2003 16:17:49 -0700, sca...@yahoo.com (scav50) wrote:

> my original intent was to let out my feelings about dimwits who run
> around advocating things they don't understand, regardless of their

As opposed to your rational, unbiased, well researched and sober approach.


> cause. but i'm also glad that i made my opinion on lisp known:

So why shouldn't Lisp evangelists make their opinions known? By the way,
don't all computing evangelists behave more or less the same way? What's so
special about Lisp evangelists?


> lisp evangelists like to dispel "rumors" about common lisp - "rumors"
> that it is slow, big, unpopular, incapable of interoperating with
> other systems, non-orthogonal in design and so on. if lisp is in fact

Since you apparently assume that Lisp--let's say Common Lisp, for the sake
of argument--is slow, big and incapable of interoperating with other
systems, can you show any references to substantiate those claims? And even
if Common Lisp is slow, big and incapable of interoperating with other
systems, this does not necessarily prevent the language from being used
productively.


> none of those things, how do you think these "rumors" got started?
> don't bother answering this - i'm sure it was a conspiracy by the same
> people who killed kennedy.

So, your technical and business decisions are apparently based on rumors,
which you don't care to check and research. Does your company happen to
have an astrology department?


> mistake, the nonsense stops now"? the fact is, the most prominent lisp
> figures eventually understood their misconceptions and turned their
> backs on lisp (more or less):
>
> + peter norvig is into python now

Funny you mention Norvig. He says that Python is finally catching up with
Lisp. If Lisp is so bad, and prominent Lisp figures are understanding their
misconceptions, why is Python--like other languages--chasing Lisp's
taillights?


> + paul graham says lisp is "awkward" in On Lisp. he also mentions

Graham's book "On Lisp" has almost 400 pages. You are quoting a single word
out of it. I realize it's to much to ask you for more context.


> feeling like on vacation in a dentist chair, when he was working on a
> lisp project (see the article about hackers and painters) - not
> exactly an expression of joy.

Others in this thread have commented on your reading comprehension skills.


> + guy steele - well, we just discussed him.

In your earlier post in this thread, you wrote:

even guy steele, the author of lisp standard came to realize the
crappiness of the language, so he had to create a new one - scheme (also
a pile of shit)

In the comp.lang.scheme article libSDtMail.9809181134.19725.gls@livia/livia
posted to comp.lang.scheme on 18 Sep 1998, Guy Steele, who at the time was
working on Java at Sun, wrote:

[...about Common Lisp and Scheme...]
Thank you! My own opinion is that they are *both* superior. :-)

Each was designed by a dedicated team of people who spent *years*
of effort designing, debating, and improving as best they could.
I was fortunate to be able to participate in both efforts.

Which do I use? Sometimes one, sometimes the other, about equally.
Each has its strengths. If I want to get a job done, I like Common
Lisp's big library (format, anyone?). If I am trying to understand
or explain some aspect of language design, or feel like coding in
a tail-recursive or continuation-passing style, Scheme is the one.
[...]

When, exactly, did Steele realize the crappiness of the languages, or
possibly the whole Lisp family?


> at least i respect these guys and their intellectual honesty. the only

Couldn't agree more.


> bad in its original "deprogrammed" state? See what i wrote about
> "defmacro" earlier.

If you were such an authority on Lisp macros, it would have been
interesting to read your own "On Lisp" book.


Paolo
--
Paolo Amoroso <amo...@mclink.it>

Kenny Tilton

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May 15, 2003, 3:13:53 PM5/15/03
to

Christian Lynbech wrote:
> Have you ever met anybody actually being fond of Cobol?

copy-replacing!

move corresponding!

condition names! including settable c/ns!

silent compiler conversion from "98.6" to 98.6

evaluate!

:)


--

kenny tilton
clinisys, inc
http://www.tilton-technology.com/
---------------------------------------------------------------
"Everything is a cell." -- Alan Kay

Sudsy

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May 15, 2003, 3:31:39 PM5/15/03
to
Christian Lynbech <christia...@ted.ericsson.se> wrote in message news:<ofof251...@situla.ted.dk.eu.ericsson.se>...

Since everyone else seems to be bashing the original poster, I'm
going to come down on his side. I too have worked with people who
seem eager to jump on the latest bandwagon without due diligence.
It results in a significant waste of resources as someone has to
spend the research time only to end up disproving the lofty claims.
So spare me the talk of the "latest and greatest" thing and let me
get back to generating industrial-strength solutions using tools
and frameworks which will stick around for a few years at least.
The stories I could relate...

Christian Lynbech

unread,
May 15, 2003, 3:55:42 PM5/15/03
to
>>>>> "Sudsy" == Sudsy <bitbu...@hotmail.com> writes:

Sudsy> Since everyone else seems to be bashing the original poster, I'm
Sudsy> going to come down on his side. I too have worked with people who
Sudsy> seem eager to jump on the latest bandwagon without due diligence.
Sudsy> It results in a significant waste of resources as someone has to
Sudsy> spend the research time only to end up disproving the lofty claims.
Sudsy> So spare me the talk of the "latest and greatest" thing and let me
Sudsy> get back to generating industrial-strength solutions using tools
Sudsy> and frameworks which will stick around for a few years at least.
Sudsy> The stories I could relate...

YES, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

This is the first time ever I have seen lisp accused of being the
latest bandwagon on the road. But I am having some problems spotting
the eager jumpers.

But "greatest" and "stick around for a few years" I can certainly
support.

Being the second oldest programming language (or rather: family of) is
a pretty neat definition of "a few years" in my dictionary.


------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------
Christian Lynbech | email: christian #\@ defun.dk

Vladimir S.

unread,
May 15, 2003, 4:24:21 PM5/15/03
to

"on a more serious note, you need to get your facts straight: i never
said that cltl1 was written before it was realized lisp was crap"

"even guy steele, the author of lisp standard came to realize the


crappiness of the language, so he had to create a new one - scheme"

I don't know about you, but the above sentence sort of, maybe, kinda
suggests chronological order. Next time, you can remove the ambiguity
by defining what "the language" is.

"after AI acedemics refused to switch to scheme"

Remind me again, who was forcing them to?

"to the guy who suggested paragraph breaks - i will accept that as
constructive criticism. to the puke-stained twits who want capitalized
sentences - you may never understand it, but period '.' is generally
enough to denote full stop."

With an attitude like that, it is no wonder you have trouble with
reading comprehension.

"my original intent was to let out my feelings about dimwits who run
around advocating things they don't understand, regardless of their
cause."

The irony is killing me.

"if lisp is in fact none of those things, how do you think these
"rumors" got started?"

See above.

"peter norvig is into python now"

Peter Norvig does what his managers tell him to do.

"paul graham says lisp is "awkward" in On Lisp. he also mentions
feeling like on vacation in a dentist chair, when he was working on a
lisp project (see the article about hackers and painters) - not
exactly an expression of joy."

Forgive my straightforwardness, but I wonder, have you ever worked as
a lawyer? Your propensity to take quotes out of context* and
misinterpret them is downright brilliant.

"guy steele - well, we just discussed him."

Yes, you certainly did.

"lisp macros are nothing but c macros, only slower, with brackets
outside"

So after reading all 300+ pages of Graham's book, the only word that
got through to you was "awkward"?

"if you want to use lisp - fine, just don't shove it down the throats
of people who know better."

Oh man, if only my manager would have listened when I told him that
about <insert hated language here>!


* P.S. - Yeah, yeah, maybe I don't provide context with yours, but
troll-baiting letters can only be so long, you know?

P.P.S. - Looking back at my reply, over half of it seems to be a junior
high-school level English lesson. If that isn't a good indication of a
troll, I don't know what is.

Terje Slettebø

unread,
May 15, 2003, 4:27:15 PM5/15/03
to
"Wade Humeniuk" <wa...@nospam.nowhere> wrote in message news:<Pztwa.3623$3X2.1...@news0.telusplanet.net>...

> "scav50" <sca...@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:e0a34273.03051...@posting.google.com...
> > over again) so they started looking into this and asked me to write a
> > report on the feasibility of using lisp for our application to deliver
> > this "intelligent content". (the fact is that i'm the only one who has
> > actual real-world lisp experience) so now, instead of doing actual
> > work in java and c++, because of this local moron, i have to waste my
> > time on this. so to all you slashdot-wielding and usenet-spamming lisp
> > evangelists i have to say this: before preaching something, learn the
> > fucking subject. before you say that lisp is easy, try actually
>
> Just because something takes hard work does not mean it is
> not useful. Lots of things in life take hard work to learn and to
> use (just ask my surgeon, a real professional).

I agree. Powerful, expressive languages, such as C++, tend to take a
long time to learn to use well. In exchange, you get an expressive
language.

Interstingly, this, the complexity of a language, has been used as an
argument against C++, for Lisp. I guess some people like to have it
both ways, using the same argument both for and against something.

The complexity has to go somewhere. If it's not in the language or
library, it ends up in the programs.

> I'm sorry to hear you think management hoisted an
> impossible task (and more work) upon your head. But its the
> nature of the beast. Maybe you can just go back and do the
> easy work of assembling pre-existing components in Java and
> C++.

What is easy and what is hard in a language depends on what you want
to do, and how you do it. Do you really mean that if something is easy
to do in C++, Java, or Lisp, that's bad, because it's easy?

Surely, it should be the other way around: If something is easy in a
language, it shows that it has the right abstractions to deal with it.

Difficultness is not something to aspire, in itself. If something is
easy to do in a language, then surely that's a good thing? If not, the
oh so popular sort-function implemented in a few lines of Lisp, should
then show that as it's easy to do, Lisp isn't a good language, no? Or
what did you really mean with the comment above?

You may have confused ease of learning, with ease of use. Both C++ and
Lisp may take a while to learn, but in exchange, you may get something
that's easy to use. That's a good thing, not something to criticise a
language for. It just shows that you've raised the level of
abstraction in the language, so you don't have to hand-code
everything, but can instead build abstractions on abstractions.
Surely, this should not be unfamiliar to a Lisp-programmer (higher
order functions, etc.).


Regards,

Terje

_ XL1201 _ Sebek _ Budo _ Kafka @hotmail.com Franz Kafka

unread,
May 15, 2003, 4:29:59 PM5/15/03
to

"scav50" <sca...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:e0a34273.03051...@posting.google.com...
> as almost every sizeable programming team, we have our own half-witted
> moron who just doest seem to get fired no matter how he screws up. but
> that's not enough for our idiot. this pest has to annoy everyone every
> month by telling us how great some crap we are not using really is,
> and how we should all switch. this month the crap de jour is lisp. the
> moron i'm talking about read a little bit of slashdot and online
> tutorials, and thinks we should use it. to my surprise, the management
> actually got fascinated by the promises of "intelligent web" that they
> apparently think could be smarter than the customers themselves and
> somehow tell them what they want to buy (the AI bubble of the '80s all
> over again) so they started looking into this and asked me to write a
> report on the feasibility of using lisp for our application to deliver
> this "intelligent content". (the fact is that i'm the only one who has
> actual real-world lisp experience) so now, instead of doing actual
> work in java and c++, because of this local moron, i have to waste my
> time on this. so to all you slashdot-wielding and usenet-spamming lisp
> evangelists i have to say this: before preaching something, learn the
> fucking subject. before you say that lisp is easy, try actually
> learning it! look at lispers with 10-20 year experience who argue
> about what a three-line snippet supposed and not supposed to do, what
> figging variables get bound, unbound, re-bound, shaddowed, what gets
> unwound, and what doesn't. if you think destructor semantics are
> obscure when combined with multiple inheritance, or that method
> overloading coupled with templates attract bugs - you aint seen
> nothing yet. before you pretend to be an intellectual and proclaim
> that other languages can be defined on top of lisp, write a hygienic
> "defmacro" replacement usable with the same syntax, but that isn't
> vulnerable to variable capture and inadvertant multiple argument
> evaluations, unless explicitly requested. do this without re-writing
> half of the compiler. no? you can't? then stfu! even guy steele, the

> author of lisp standard came to realize the crappiness of the
> language, so he had to create a new one - scheme (also a pile of
> shit). paul graham, the celebrated author of lisp books, couldn't help
> but call lisp "awkward" in On Lisp. is this convincing enough? sorry,
> i had to vent. i think i finally collected my thoughts for the
> 'report'.

Try to write something in C++/Java that can't be written in Lisp.

OSes?

Remember the Lisp Machines ;)


Wade Humeniuk

unread,
May 15, 2003, 6:58:56 PM5/15/03
to
"Terje Slettebř" <terjes.@chello.no>
wrote in message news:9e3a34f7.0305...@posting.google.com...

>
> I agree. Powerful, expressive languages, such as C++, tend to take a
> long time to learn to use well. In exchange, you get an expressive
> language.
>
> Interstingly, this, the complexity of a language, has been used as an
> argument against C++, for Lisp. I guess some people like to have it
> both ways, using the same argument both for and against something.
>

I use Common Lisp because I like it and I am many times more
productive with it. Why that is is an exercise left up the reader.

> Difficultness is not something to aspire, in itself. If something is
> easy to do in a language, then surely that's a good thing? If not, the
> oh so popular sort-function implemented in a few lines of Lisp, should
> then show that as it's easy to do, Lisp isn't a good language, no? Or
> what did you really mean with the comment above?
>

Difficult things are also things not to shy away from. (or go over the
edge and rant about on multiple newsgroups).

Dealing with people can be very difficult. Dealing with bosses can be
very difficult. Scav50 snapped in public when he should just keep his
personal problems to himself. Even worse he has snapped anonymously,
a faceless name from behind some Yahoo account.

Things like the "Semantic Web", "Intelligent Content", "Intelligent
Agents" are very difficult. The whole problem, its conceptual
framework behind it, its application and its translation into software
(and practical use). Scav50 can just go back and stay within his
comfort zone. Lisp was developed by working on these very difficult
problems.

I am not talking about programming languages. I no longer debate or
second guess my opinion on the matter. I have made up my mind.


> You may have confused ease of learning, with ease of use. Both C++ and
> Lisp may take a while to learn, but in exchange, you may get something
> that's easy to use. That's a good thing, not something to criticise a
> language for. It just shows that you've raised the level of
> abstraction in the language, so you don't have to hand-code
> everything, but can instead build abstractions on abstractions.
> Surely, this should not be unfamiliar to a Lisp-programmer (higher
> order functions, etc.).
>

Becoming a good programmer takes a long time. I am not critizing
languages, I am critizing the original poster for a whining about
things being hard and that his perception is that his colleagues and
bosses are "village idiots".

Wade

Daniel Barlow

unread,
May 15, 2003, 6:49:47 PM5/15/03
to
terjes.@chello.no (Terje Slettebų) writes:

> You may have confused ease of learning, with ease of use.

I find it hard to believe that any proficient emacs user would ever
make that mistake.


-dan

--

http://www.cliki.net/ - Link farm for free CL-on-Unix resources

John Fraser

unread,
May 15, 2003, 7:34:25 PM5/15/03
to

"scav50" <sca...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:e0a34273.03051...@posting.google.com...
> as almost every sizeable programming team, we have our own half-witted
> moron who just doest seem to get fired no matter how he screws up. but
> that's not enough for our idiot. this pest has to annoy everyone every
> month by telling us how great some crap we are not using really is,
> and how we should all switch. this month the crap de jour is lisp. the
> moron i'm talking about read a little bit of slashdot and online
> tutorials, and thinks we should use it. to my surprise, the management
> actually got fascinated by the promises of "intelligent web" that they
> apparently think could be smarter than the customers themselves and
> somehow tell them what they want to buy (the AI bubble of the '80s all
> over again) so they started looking into this and asked me to write a
> report on the feasibility of using lisp for our application to deliver
> this "intelligent content". (the fact is that i'm the only one who has

What experience do you have writing in lisp?

> actual real-world lisp experience) so now, instead of doing actual
> work in java and c++, because of this local moron, i have to waste my
> time on this. so to all you slashdot-wielding and usenet-spamming lisp
> evangelists i have to say this: before preaching something, learn the
> fucking subject. before you say that lisp is easy, try actually
> learning it! look at lispers with 10-20 year experience who argue
> about what a three-line snippet supposed and not supposed to do, what
> figging variables get bound, unbound, re-bound, shaddowed, what gets
> unwound, and what doesn't. if you think destructor semantics are
> obscure when combined with multiple inheritance, or that method
> overloading coupled with templates attract bugs - you aint seen

When have you seen this? Do they all do it?

> nothing yet. before you pretend to be an intellectual and proclaim
> that other languages can be defined on top of lisp, write a hygienic

Yes they can. Do they really need to be hygenic? I've never seen any
need for this outside of Academia.

> "defmacro" replacement usable with the same syntax, but that isn't
> vulnerable to variable capture and inadvertant multiple argument
> evaluations, unless explicitly requested. do this without re-writing
> half of the compiler. no? you can't? then stfu! even guy steele, the

Scheme has hygenic macros. It is a Scheme program that implements them.

> author of lisp standard came to realize the crappiness of the
> language, so he had to create a new one - scheme (also a pile of

Actually I think you will find that Scheme was an experiment in Lexical
environments. Scheme also implemented procedures as first class data
types. It was adapted to educational purposes because of its simplicity.

I think you also find that Guy Steele was heavily involved in defining the
Common Lisp standard.

> shit). paul graham, the celebrated author of lisp books, couldn't help
> but call lisp "awkward" in On Lisp. is this convincing enough? sorry,

No, I am not convinced. Paul Graham stated that Common Lisp was
awkward in the examples he was using. The specific examples described
the seperate namespace that common lisp uses for functions.

He did not state that lisp was awkward.

Kenny Tilton

unread,
May 16, 2003, 12:59:57 AM5/16/03
to

Sudsy wrote:
>... the latest bandwagon ...

woo-hoo! Lisp made it!! (to "latest" bandwagon status.)

ok, game over, i want credit for being the first to predict this. it's
time for lispniks to add "Lisp" to their resumes.

woo-hoo! we're the langue du jour!!

Kenny Tilton

unread,
May 16, 2003, 1:04:10 AM5/16/03
to
God bless you (and others who have done the same), but why are you
taking a deliberate flame seriously? The whole OP was a transparent
joke. If you really want to flame Lisp, you have to be at least a little
plausible. The OP was just a delightful, over-the-top, fantasy slam.

Espen Vestre

unread,
May 16, 2003, 3:20:57 AM5/16/03
to
Kenny Tilton <kti...@nyc.rr.com> writes:

> woo-hoo! we're the langue du jour!!

Cool!
Now if geek.com just could add some lisp t-shirts to their stock...
--
(espen)

John Fraser

unread,
May 16, 2003, 9:16:44 AM5/16/03
to
"Kenny Tilton" <kti...@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message
news:3EC473A7...@nyc.rr.com...

> God bless you (and others who have done the same), but why are you

Thank you.

> taking a deliberate flame seriously? The whole OP was a transparent

Information is a virus. This particular flame was cross posted to
comp.lange.java.programmer
and com.lang.c++. These are the two largest communities of programmers
today. This
flame was very destructive to the image of Lisp, which already suffers in
those communities.

I wanted to refute his arguments and claims so the other groups would also
see
this as misinformation. At least to those who were interested in the flame.

I don't generally post much here, but I do read it everyday. I don't know
how many
people do the same. If they are just learning Lisp; they should be able to
see the facts.
Lisp can be a hard thing to learn when you come from a traditional
prgramming background.
A little misinformation like this could, discourage them.

Lisp is the red pill. I am the technical lead in a large programming shop.
The programmers that
know lisp, and have 'gotten' it, always become the best programmers. Even
if they don't get to
use it.

Robert Hand

unread,
May 16, 2003, 5:47:30 PM5/16/03
to
Err I know I am not a part of this conversation. In fact I only breezed
over the original post. Your reply to it, does not address the substance.
In fact, I wonder if english is your first language.

> "even guy steele, the author of lisp standard came to realize the
> crappiness of the language, so he had to create a new one - scheme"
>
> I don't know about you, but the above sentence sort of, maybe, kinda
> suggests chronological order. Next time, you can remove the ambiguity
> by defining what "the language" is.
>

I would assume "The language" refers to Lisp.

>
> "after AI acedemics refused to switch to scheme"
>
> Remind me again, who was forcing them to?
>

Does refusal require force?

>
> P.P.S. - Looking back at my reply, over half of it seems to be a junior
> high-school level English lesson. If that isn't a good indication of a
> troll, I don't know what is.

The majority of programmers can't read and write. His rant was one giant
mess, but if you are concerned over form and not content, you have a worse
problem.

"Vladimir S." <sed...@cpsc.ucalgary.ca> wrote in message
news:87fzng9...@shawnews.cg.shawcable.net...

Tim X

unread,
May 17, 2003, 3:27:43 AM5/17/03
to
>>>>> "Sudsy" == Sudsy <bitbu...@hotmail.com> writes:

Sudsy> Christian Lynbech <christia...@ted.ericsson.se> wrote in
Sudsy> message news:<ofof251...@situla.ted.dk.eu.ericsson.se>...


>> >>>>> "Ian" == Ian Wild <i...@cfmu.eurocontrol.be> writes:
>>

Ian> You might also want to collect a few capital letters to use in
Ian> your report.


>> I think the report will be in all uppercase letters, he has used
>> up all the lowercase ones.
>>
>> Long live the teletype experince.
>>
>>
>> ------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------
>> Christian Lynbech | christian #\@ defun #\. dk
>> ------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------
>> Hit the philistines three times over the head with the Elisp
>> reference manual. - pet...@hal.com (Michael A. Petonic)

Sudsy> Since everyone else seems to be bashing the original poster,
Sudsy> I'm going to come down on his side. I too have worked with
Sudsy> people who seem eager to jump on the latest bandwagon without
Sudsy> due diligence. It results in a significant waste of resources
Sudsy> as someone has to spend the research time only to end up
Sudsy> disproving the lofty claims. So spare me the talk of the
Sudsy> "latest and greatest" thing and let me get back to generating
Sudsy> industrial-strength solutions using tools and frameworks which
Sudsy> will stick around for a few years at least. The stories I
Sudsy> could relate...

Isn't the fact someone spends the time to investigate the claims the
due diligance your saying is lacking? If it wasn't for someone pushing
to try out the new things, would we ever progress at all? Many of the
now industrial strength solutions were once new untested and often
considered to be making lofty claims.

While I understand the original posters position to some extent, I
think its a pity that he had already made up his mind about what his
inestigation and report were going to say before he actually did any
investigation. I first looked at lisp in the mid 80's - for a number
of reasons, it did not suit what I was doing at the time. I'm now
working on different problems and the language has progressed
considerably in that time - where once I would not have considered
lisp for a project, I now find its a contender.

In this industry its important to continually re-evaluate and
investigate - its a domain which is far from static and one in which
we gain greater understanding and knowledge at an astounding
rate. What was true 5 years ago is not necessarily true now. For me,
this rapid change and development is what makes it such an interesting
area to work in.

Tim
--
Tim Cross
The e-mail address on this message is FALSE (obviously!). My real e-mail is
to a company in Australia called rapttech and my login is tcross - if you
really need to send mail, you should be able to work it out!

Paolo Amoroso

unread,
May 17, 2003, 7:30:29 AM5/17/03
to
On 16 May 2003 09:20:57 +0200, Espen Vestre
<espen@*do-not-spam-me*.vestre.net> wrote:

> Now if geek.com just could add some lisp t-shirts to their stock...

You can get Lisp t-shirts from Franz.

Kenny Tilton

unread,
May 17, 2003, 12:49:34 PM5/17/03
to
sca...@yahoo.com (scav50) wrote in message news:<e0a34273.03051...@posting.google.com>...
> (the fact is that i'm the only one who has
> actual real-world lisp experience) so now, instead of doing actual
> work in java and c++, because of this local moron, i have to waste my
> time on this.

what's the problem? you could have just CCed them with this post and
you'd be done. they would either believe you or get someone else to do
it who has not already made up their mind.

did you think hosting a flamewar would be a more effcient use of your
time than doing Java and C++? come to think of it...

> so to all you slashdot-wielding and usenet-spamming lisp
> evangelists i have to say this: before preaching something, learn the
> fucking subject.

don't be silly. the more lisp they learn, the more they evengelize it.

> before you say that lisp is easy, try actually
> learning it!

interactive, dynamically-typed, tons of built-in functions to let you
have great fun right out of the box, the best OO model extant, free
commercial trial packaes with nice IDEs... what's the hard part?

> look at lispers with 10-20 year experience who argue

> about what a three-line snippet supposed and not supposed to do...

cut the FUD, you clown. how can they argue? they just plop the code
into a nicely compliant CL and see what it does. when implementations
disagree, there is a nice little ANSI spec they can turn to for a
referee. if it's implementation dependent, it is not "supposed to do"
anything.

any interesting language has obscure corners. the cool thing is that
Lisp not only has a spec, but the spec identifies the obscure corners
and tells you what is implementation dependent. if you are hardcore
enough to get into these corners, the spec will guide you. and thx to
KMP it is also a hyperspec.

> write a hygienic
> "defmacro" replacement

you write one. I don't want one, and I do not know anyone who does.
this is a straw man you intend to savage mercilessly for the life of
this thread, in a desperate attempt to avoid talking about what it is
like to use Lisp to get real work done. You remember that work you
wanted to get done, don't you?

> ... inadvertant multiple argument
> evaluations, unless explicitly requested...

I love it. The programmer will be coding:

(my-macro (incf *count*))

...and their program semantics includes *count* increasing by the
number of times the macro argument appears in the macro-expansion? I
think the real problem here is that management is asking /you/ for
advice.

> even guy steele, the
> author of lisp standard came to realize the crappiness of the
> language, so he had to create a new one -

you mean Java? Please provide a citation on Steele, Lisp, and
crappiness. Or stfu.

> paul graham, the celebrated author of lisp books, couldn't help
> but call lisp "awkward" in On Lisp. is this convincing enough?

No, you lying sonuvabitch. But this (heavily snipped (you know how
that works)) version of Chapter One (copied from
http://www.paulgraham.com/onlisptext.html) is (convincing). Read just
the > bits for the soundbites:

"The Extensible Language
==========================
...
Fortunately, word has begun to spread that AI is not what Lisp is all
about.
>> Recent advances in hardware and software have made Lisp
commercially viable

One of the most distinctive qualities of Lisp is the way it can be
tailored to suit the program being written in it...

1.1 Design by Evolution
Because Lisp gives you the freedom to define your own operators, you
can mold
it into just the language you need...

>> And if you're not sure yet what kind of program you're writing,
>> it's a safe bet to write it in Lisp.

Whatever kind of program yours turns out to be, Lisp will, during the
writing of
it, have evolved into a language for writing that kind of program.

If you're not sure yet what kind of program you're writing? To some
ears
that sentence has an odd ring to it. It is in jarring contrast with a
certain model of doing things wherein you (1) carefully plan what
you're going to do, and then (2) do it. ... The plan-and-implement
method may have been a good
way of building dams or launching invasions, but experience has not
shown it to
be as good a way of writing programs. ...

It may be difficult to say why the old method fails, but that it does
fail, anyone can see. When is software delivered on time?
...
We can approach programming in a different way, if we have the right
tools.
... The flexibility of Lisp has spawned a whole new style of
programming. In Lisp, you can do much of your planning as you write
the program.

Why wait for hindsight? As Montaigne found, nothing clarifies your
ideas
like trying to write them down. ... The ability to plan programs as
you write them has two momentous consequences: programs take less time
to write, because when you plan and write at the same time, you have a
real program to focus your attention; and they turn out better,
because the final design is always a product of evolution. ....

Lisp's versatility makes this kind of programming a practical
alternative.
>> Indeed, the greatest danger of Lisp is that it may spoil you.
>> Once you've used Lisp for a while, you may become so sensitive to
the fit
>> between language and application that you won't be able to go back
to
>> another language without always feeling that it doesn't give you
quite
>> the flexibility you need.

1.2 Programming Bottom-Up
...
Bottom-up design is possible to a certain degree in languages other
than Lisp.
Whenever you see library functions, bottom-up design is happening.
However,
Lisp gives you much broader powers in this department, and augmenting
the
language plays a proportionately larger role in Lisp style耀o much so
that
>> Lisp is not just a different language, but a whole different way of
>> programming....

1.3 EXTENSIBLE SOFTWARE
...The experience of Lisp programming suggests a more
cheerful way to phrase this law: as the size of the group decreases,
the productivity of individual programmers goes up. A small group
wins, relatively speaking, simply because it's smaller. ...

The Lisp style of programming is one that has grown in importance as
software
has grown in complexity. ....

Lisp is an especially good language for writing extensible programs
because
it is itself an extensible program. If you write your Lisp programs so
as to pass
this extensibility on to the user, you effectively get an extension
language for free.

And the difference between extending a Lisp program in Lisp, and doing
the same
thing in a traditional language, is like the difference between
meeting someone in person and conversing by letters. ... When this
degree of access is combined with an interactive environment, you have
extensibility at its best. ...What happens when you're unsure of
something? If the original program is written in Lisp, you can probe
it interactively... This kind of feedback allows you to program with a
high degree of confidence葉o write more ambitious extensions, and to
write them faster. An interactive environment always makes programming
easier...

1.4 Extending Lisp
...But the main reason macros are hard to understand is that they're
foreign. No other language has anything like Lisp macros. Thus
learning about macros may entail unlearning preconceptions
inadvertently picked up from other languages. Foremost among these is
the notion of a program as something afflicted by rigor mortis. ...If
it takes some time to get used to macros, it is well worth the effort.

1.5 Why Lisp (or When)
These newpossibilities do not stem from a single magic ingredient. In
this respect, Lisp is like an arch. Which of the wedge-shaped stones
(voussoirs) is the one that holds up the arch? The question itself is
mistaken; they all do. Like an arch, Lisp is a collection of
interlocking features. We can list some of these features妖ynamic
storage allocation and garbage collection, runtime typing, functions
as objects, a built-in parser which generates lists, a compiler which
accepts programs expressed as lists, an interactive environment, and
so on傭ut the power of Lisp cannot be traced to any single one of
them. It is the combination which makes Lisp programming what it is.

Over the past twenty years, the way people program has changed. Many
of
these changes擁nteractive environments, dynamic linking, even
object-oriented
programming揺ave been piecemeal attempts to give other languages some
of
the flexibility of Lisp. The metaphor of the arch suggests how well
they have
succeeded.

It is widely known that Lisp and Fortran are the two oldest languages
still in
use. What is perhaps more significant is that they represent opposite
poles in the philosophy of language design. Fortran was invented as a
step up from assembly language. Lisp was invented as a language for
expressing algorithms. Such different intentions yielded vastly
different languages.
>> Fortran makes life easy for the compiler writer; Lisp makes life
easy
>> for the programmer.

... As the gods determined from afar the outcomes of battles among the
ancient Greeks, the outcome of this battle is being determined by
hardware. Every year, things look better for Lisp. The arguments
against Lisp are now starting to sound very much like the arguments
that assembly language programmers gave against high-level languages
in the early 1970s.

>> The question is now becoming not Why Lisp?,but When?"

Giorgos Keramidas

unread,
May 17, 2003, 1:29:22 PM5/17/03
to
Paolo Amoroso <amo...@mclink.it> writes:
> On 14 May 2003 16:17:49 -0700, sca...@yahoo.com (scav50) wrote:
> > + paul graham says lisp is "awkward" in On Lisp. he also mentions
>
> Graham's book "On Lisp" has almost 400 pages. You are quoting a single
> word out of it. I realize it's to much to ask you for more context.

It was also one of the most influencial books in making me learn Lisp,
so I'd probably lean more towards believing that this one word wasn't
very important whn compared with the rest of them 400 pages :)

Fred Gilham

unread,
May 17, 2003, 3:34:13 PM5/17/03
to

(Note: followups trimmed.)

The village idiot wrote:
> paul graham, the celebrated author of lisp books, couldn't help
> but call lisp "awkward" in On Lisp. is this convincing enough?

There are three places (I searched the PDF file) where the word
"awkward" or "awkwardness" appears.

In each case he is complaining that the use of

(funcall <function-name> ...)

instead of just

(<function-name> ...)

is awkward.

That's his complaint --- he prefers lisp1 to lisp2.

The other day I was translating some scheme code into lisp. I found
myself sympathizing with this point of view, thinking that it was a
bit tedious to find all the places where a function was being passed
in a variable and making sure I put the funcall in front of it. On
the other hand, the same code had a bunch of utilities that the author
had obviously stolen directly from Common Lisp (i.e. reduce, find,
every, sublis), so I didn't have to translate that code, though he had
had to write it!

We've had the lisp1 vs. lisp2 argument many times here in this
newsgroup. It's obviously a legitimate position, but not something
that speaks to lisp as a language as a whole. Someone who would write
two (2) major books on a language and walk off with $49 million from
selling a product built using that language --- which language he
specifically claimed gave him a major competitive advantage --- is
certainly being misrepresented by the above comment.

--
Fred Gilham gil...@csl.sri.com
...We must ask, is there any means available to prevent mankind from
being hurt by people's bad judgment and malice? Is it not a non
sequitur to assume that one could avoid the disastrous consequences of
these human weaknesses by substituting the government's discretion for
that of the individual citizens? Are governments endowed with
intellectual and moral perfection? Are the rulers not human too, not
themselves subject to human frailties and deficiencies?
--- Ludwig von Mises

Kaz Kylheku

unread,
May 17, 2003, 7:05:40 PM5/17/03
to
sca...@yahoo.com (scav50) wrote in message news:<e0a34273.03051...@posting.google.com>...
> k...@ashi.footprints.net (Kaz Kylheku) wrote in message news:<cf333042.03051...@posting.google.com>...

> > sca...@yahoo.com (scav50) wrote in message news:<e0a34273.03051...@posting.google.com>...
> > > as almost every sizeable programming team, we have our own half-witted
> > > moron who just doest seem to get fired no matter how he screws up.
> >
> > Who is that one person that has always been on every programming team
> > you have ever been on? Who is that person who never joined a team
> > later than you did, and never left the team sooner than you? Answer
> > that question, and you have the identity of the moron.
>
>
> i can see how you could have induced this rule from your own
> experience. however, you failed to realize that it may not apply to
> others. why don't you go expand a macro or backtrace something? make
> yourself appear useful.

I sense that you indeed answered the above questions for yourself, and
are now fuming over the inescapable answer.

Okay, you have convinced me that Lisp sucks because it doesn't have an
automatically-hygienic defmacro. I'm more than capable of appointing a
new programming language to be my ``main'' one; I have done so a few
times in my programming life.

I expect that you will now direct me to a programming language which
retains all of the advantages of Lisp *and* which provides a hygienic
defmacro.

I see that we are crossposting to Java and C++ newsgroups; but you
can't possibly be saying that these moronic miscreations are that
language!

If you can't point me to this alternative language, then you are just
an irrational idiot who is jumping up and down on one spot, fuming
over something that he cannot fix. Do you also honk at red lights to
make them turn green faster, or shake your fist at the weather? Do you
curse gravity when you stumble and fall?

If the Lisp community cared about having a standard construct for
automatic macro hygiene, we would have it by now. But somehow, nearly
forty years of Lisp programming has merrily gone on without it---and
it was not without progress elsewhere in the language. Features like
lexical closures, conditions and, oh, an object system were added.
People cared about having these things, so they were worked in. Once
upon a time, writing a macro meant getting the entire macro call form
as an argument, and having to analyze its syntax explicitly, with no
destructuring. Destructuring without additional hygiene has shown to
be a sufficiently good tool for Lisp programmers.

Vladimir S.

unread,
May 18, 2003, 12:38:40 AM5/18/03
to
"Robert Hand" <flash9...@qwest.net> writes:

> Err I know I am not a part of this conversation.

Nobody invited me either.

> In fact I only breezed over the original post.

Maybe you should go back and read it. As a matter of fact, it probably
helps to read the post I'm responding to as well.

> Your reply to it, does not address the substance.

I didn't know there was any.

> In fact, I wonder if english is your first language.

Congratulations! You get a star! Did you figure that one out by
looking at my strange foreigner name?

> > "even guy steele, the author of lisp standard came to realize the
> > crappiness of the language, so he had to create a new one - scheme"
> >
> > I don't know about you, but the above sentence sort of, maybe, kinda
> > suggests chronological order. Next time, you can remove the ambiguity
> > by defining what "the language" is.
> >
>
> I would assume "The language" refers to Lisp.

Well, "the language" in the context of that sentence refers to the
"lisp standard" which Guy Steele is "the author of" (historical
accuracy note - Guy Steele didn't make up the standard single
handedly; he was a major contributor and wrote the definitive books on
the standard's early form). Guy Steele "invented" Scheme (again, he
didn't do this alone) almost a decade before work on Common Lisp got
underway.

> > "after AI acedemics refused to switch to scheme"
> >
> > Remind me again, who was forcing them to?
> >
>
> Does refusal require force?

Well, it does require an active inquiry from a third party.

> The majority of programmers can't read and write.

Judging by the amount of crap on Usenet, it seems that the majority of
people have the same problem as well.

> His rant was one giant mess, but if you are concerned over form and
> not content, you have a worse problem.

I may have problems, but taking Usenet trolls seriously isn't one of
them. Let's go over the three main points of the alleged "content"
step by step:

- The original poster claims his coworkers are morons.

Fair enough, I really don't care what he thinks of them.

- "lisp is a poorly designed piece of shit"

I really don't consider unfounded claims, faulty assertions,and
scatological name-calling content.

- Writing a hygenic macro system isn't trivial.

Other have already stated what I myself think of hygenic macros better
than I can, but let me state it anyway: I don't care. "Unsafe" macros
are like any sufficiently powerful tool in that they can be used
improperly to do harm. I know enough about my tools not to abuse
them. In his other thread (the original poster managed to break this
one into two or three ones already) it has been pointed out that
hygenic macros aren't really all that tough to implement anyway. Since
you haven't bothered to read this thread before responding, let me
state it again: nobody seems to care. Besides which, macros should be
used infrequently enough that this shouldn't even be a problem (but I
suppose "experienced morons" like the original poster shoot themselves
in the foot with that one as well).


P.S. - Postscripts are intended to be read. When I said I was
troll-baiting, I was quite serious. With a response like this:

"p.s. hey vladimir, go hatch some more little lenins if you can't add
anything of value to the discussion."

I certainly appear to have been successful, to my great
satisfaction. :)

P.P.S. - There is no need to include a copy of my original message at
the bottom of your reply, seeing as you quoted almost all of it
beforehand.

P.P.P.S - I think all of the original poster's flames have been
thoroughly debunked and deconstructed, and personally I don't find him
as amusing anymore. Let's all stop feeding the trolls now, people.

Bent C Dalager

unread,
May 18, 2003, 5:13:43 AM5/18/03
to
In article <cf333042.03051...@posting.google.com>,

Kaz Kylheku <k...@ashi.footprints.net> wrote:
>
>I see that we are crossposting to Java and C++ newsgroups; but you
>can't possibly be saying that these moronic miscreations are that
>language!

Oyh! (presses the "da boys" button)

Cheers
Bent D
--
Bent Dalager - b...@pvv.org - http://www.pvv.org/~bcd
powered by emacs

Espen Vestre

unread,
May 19, 2003, 3:38:30 AM5/19/03