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help! absolute beginner

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Zachary Turner

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
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i have never programmed lisp before in my life, so i have no idea what's
really going on here, but i plan on learning it over the next 6 months or
so. what i need is a LISP compiler so that i can get started. I'm looking
into Harlequin LispWorks 4.1 Professional. I've downloaded the Personal
Edition (which is available free for download at their website) but i have
no idea how to get a simple program up and running. Can someone tell me
exactly what i need to do and exactly what code to type just to write an
extremely simple program (the LISP equivalent of the typical C "Hello World"
perhaps?) that prints something on the screen, just so that i can see some
results and know that I'm actually on the right track? I have no idea how
to use LispWorks, and no idea about the language itself, so if someone could
just hold my hand and treat me like a complete moron i'd really appreciate
it. :-) Thanks for any help.

Zachary Turner

Zachary Turner

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
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by the way, i don't need the code explained to me, i'll learn all of that
soon enough, i just want to see something happen before I go shell out money
on this product. Thanks

Zachary Turner

Zachary Turner wrote in message <741sh7$lje$1...@uuneo.neosoft.com>...

Sunil Mishra

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
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Have a look at the Association of Lisp Users web site:

http://www.elwoodcorp.com/alu/

You will find a fair bit of information (tutorials as well) to get you up
to speed. Good luck!

Sunil

Toolshed37

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Dec 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/2/98
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well, i took a brief look at it, and not much help. i dont' really want a
tutorial right now, i just want someone to give me enough code that i can just
cut and paste into the window of LispWorks and then tell me what to do to
execute the program so that i can see some type of output on the screen. i'm
not going to start trying to learn lisp until later, right now i just want to
see something on my screen. if you could just post an _entire_ hello world
program and tell me what to do in LispWorks to get it to run, i'd really
appreciate it.

David B. Lamkins

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Dec 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/2/98
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In article <19981201224608...@ng146.aol.com> ,
tools...@aol.com (Toolshed37) wrote:

Well, define what you mean by a hello world program... Here are several
that meet your requirements.

Because strings are self-evaluating in Lisp, this is the the simplest
program:
"Hello, world!"

If you want to get closer to the canonical hello world program that does
explicit output, try these:
(write "Hello, world!")
(format t "Hello, world!")
(format nil "Hello, world!")

If you want to pop up a window that says hello world, that kind of output is
platform dependent (and I don't have a copy of LW at hand). Typically, you
can create a window that behaves as a text output stream, and use it
something like this:
(let ((w (make-instance 'window)))
(format w "Hello, world!"))
Again, the window example may not work in LW (if it does, it's a lucky guess
on the class name). Why don't you take a look through the manual and see
whether they have a tutorial?

Finally, if you want to create a standalone application, you're really gonna
have to crack that manual. Every Lisp is different, but it would probably
be fruitful if you searched the index for some hyphenated combination of
dump or save and image or application.

---
David B. Lamkins <http://www.teleport.com/~dlamkins/>

There are many ways to abbreviate something, but only one way not to.

Sunil Mishra

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Dec 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/2/98
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"Hello World" is a rather futile exercise.

(princ "Hello World")
|Hello World|
"Hello World"

Any of these expressions at the command prompt will do what you want to,
and yet none of these is satisfying as a program.

If you want to write a function that simply does hello world, then

(defun foo ()
(princ "Hello World"))

(foo)

This to me does not quite seem very satisfying as a program either.

I guess what I am trying to say is that Lisp is not very amenable to small
toy programs, simply because they are trivial to put together. Now, if you
want to deal with a large complex problem, Lisp tends to work great. There
are many, many problems that take loads of code in other languages, but end
relatively clean and nice in Lisp. An expressive syntax helps :-)

Going up yet another level, the "right way" to learn a language would be to
figure out what it is good for. Obviously, Lisp is not good for writing
Hello World, since you end up carrying around an environment at least 10MB
in size to get this to work. I don't know what your motives for learning
lisp are, but I would think hard about this question.

Now, if you want to ask what lisp is good for, I would suggest trekking
over to dejanews. This question has been asked enough times. If you have a
problem at hand, there are lots of *very* smart people on this newsgroup
that would be more than happy to help you out. (They've been kind to me,
certainly.)

Sunil

Zachary Turner

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Dec 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/2/98
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Sunil Mishra wrote in message ...

>Going up yet another level, the "right way" to learn a language would be to
>figure out what it is good for. Obviously, Lisp is not good for writing
>Hello World, since you end up carrying around an environment at least 10MB
>in size to get this to work. I don't know what your motives for learning
>lisp are, but I would think hard about this question.
>
>Now, if you want to ask what lisp is good for, I would suggest trekking
>over to dejanews. This question has been asked enough times. If you have a
>problem at hand, there are lots of *very* smart people on this newsgroup
>that would be more than happy to help you out. (They've been kind to me,
>certainly.)
Oh, I have very valid motives for learning LISP. I'm a university student
and in
the Spring I'm doing an independent study course on Artificial Intelligence,
for which I've decided to learn LISP, since it is perfectly suited for doing
AI
programming. I also realize that it is not explicitly for AI, but that it
does
suit the problem perfectly. I was able to get something to run with the
help
of all the posts, thanks to everyone who posted. I'll probably go shell out
some $$ for LispWorks now, I like the fact that you can write in LISP and
deliver it as a .DLL, which you can link to in C++ :-)

Zachary Turner

Joachim Achtzehnter

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Dec 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/2/98
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"Zachary Turner" <ztu...@elsitech.com> writes:
>
> Oh, I have very valid motives for learning LISP. I'm a university
> student... I'll probably go shell out some $$ for LispWorks now...

If you just want to learn Lisp then why are you so keen on spending a
large sum of money? Last time I looked, both Harlequin and Franz had
full-featured versions of their Lisp environments free for personal
use. And there are a whole bunch of Lisp implementations that are free
software, in case you ever wanted to look at the inside :-)

Joachim

--
joa...@kraut.bc.ca (http://www.kraut.bc.ca)
joa...@mercury.bc.ca (http://www.mercury.bc.ca)

Zachary Turner

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Dec 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/2/98
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I'm spoiled I guess? I've been writing games in C/C++ using DirectX and
OpenGL
for some time now and it'd be nice if, after I get good with Lisp, I could
write all
my AI code in LISP, compile it to a DLL, and dynamically link to the DLL in
my
games, which will be written in C/C++.

Joachim Achtzehnter wrote in message ...

Sunil Mishra

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Dec 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/3/98
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I suspect doing things the other way around - writing your games in lisp,
and using C/C++ routines for specific functions - will work out better. But
then that's just a guess. I'm only familiar with Harlequin Lispworks, and I
know they have an interface for automatically reading header files and
constructing an interface to C. So, as long as you have the header files,
constructing an OpenGL interface *ought* to be straightforward. (I haven't
done this, so I can't be certain.)

Sunil

Zachary Turner

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Dec 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/3/98
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I'm not sure how practical that would be. All graphics, sound, input, and
network programming I typically do in C++ so it wouldn't make much sense to
write the whole program in Lisp and link in all code relating to graphics,
sound, input, and network programming when I could write it in C++ and link
in only the AI stuff. One thing that's just come to my attention though:
How do you prototype a Lisp function in C? From what I've learned of Lisp
so far (not very much at all) it isn't typed at all. The list (1 2 3 (foo
bar 37)) is quite different in memory size from the list (1). So I guess
the two main things that you would need to know how to declare in C are an
atom and a list, taking into consideration that a list can contain other
lists. Has anyone had any experience doing this?


Sunil Mishra wrote in message ...

Zachary Turner

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Dec 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/3/98
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On second thought maybe this isn't such a bad idea.. Interesting at the
least... I'll give it a shot in a few months after I get proficient with
Lisp. On another note, does anyone know what the deal is with Franz, Inc.?
I've been trying to get in touch with these people for the last few weeks
and they don't return emails and when I call they say that the lady who
handles sales "is not currently in the office and wont' be in for the
remainder of the day." That's happened twice now and the email thing has
happened twice also. I evaluated Allegro CL 5.0 and I really like it, but
these people are basically sitting here with the "No we don't your money.
Go give it to Harelquin" attitude, which is really frustrating since I want
to purchase Allegro. Has anyone else had better luck with them?

Zach

Vassili Bykov

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Dec 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/3/98
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For the kind of things you are describing, you might really like Corman Lisp
(http://www.corman.net/CormanLisp.html).

Zachary Turner wrote in message <746dv0$qij$1...@uuneo.neosoft.com>...


>On second thought maybe this isn't such a bad idea.. Interesting at the
>least... I'll give it a shot in a few months after I get proficient with
>Lisp. On another note, does anyone know what the deal is with Franz, Inc.?

[...]


Tim Bradshaw

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Dec 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/3/98
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* Zachary Turner wrote:
> On second thought maybe this isn't such a bad idea.. Interesting at the
> least... I'll give it a shot in a few months after I get proficient with
> Lisp. On another note, does anyone know what the deal is with Franz, Inc.?
> I've been trying to get in touch with these people for the last few weeks
> and they don't return emails and when I call they say that the lady who
> handles sales "is not currently in the office and wont' be in for the
> remainder of the day."

They've probably been very busy organising a conference (very well, I
thought).

--tim

john....@alcoa.com

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Dec 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/3/98
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In article <u1z92.2402$5n1.19...@news.magma.ca>,

"Vassili Bykov" <vas...@objectpeople.com> wrote:
> For the kind of things you are describing, you might really like Corman Lisp
> (http://www.corman.net/CormanLisp.html).

Corman Lisp is betaware. I recommend that if you have the money for real
commercial grade software that you stick with Franz or Harlequin. They have
been battle tested, implement the ANSI standards, and you will experience far
fewer fustrations with them. My experience with Corman Lisp involved frequent
crashes, missing features (like macrolet), and far slower performance. And
all I tried on Corman Lisp were a few small benchmarks. I hate to be negative
but you can't really expect a new Lisp environment to be competitive with
folks with a large staff and years behind their product? For a beginner on
Windows I recommend Harlequin Lispworks Personal Edition and when you get a
real project graduate to the Professional Edition (~$500) which costs only a
few hundred more than what Corman wants. If you need even more performance
(and have even more dollars) then consider Franz's Allegro CL(~$3000-4000).
(I have both and prefer ACL over Lispworks but I am biased by having used ACL
on Unix for years and the need for the absolute fastest floating point
speed.)

--
John Watton
Aluminum Company of America

-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------
http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Discuss, or Start Your Own

John Atwood

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Dec 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/3/98
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if you're into games, ya might also be interested in this scheme product
that has an integrated solid modeler:
http://www.schemers.com/3ds20.html


John Atwood
-------------------------------------------

Erik Naggum

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Dec 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/5/98
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* "Zachary Turner" <ztu...@elsitech.com>

| On another note, does anyone know what the deal is with Franz, Inc.?

well, yes, I do. it appears that you walked into a small restaurant with
Burger King expectations. in so doing, you might have triggered some
strong negative responses based solely in a cultural conflict that you
might not even be aware of. phone numbers and e-mail addresses look very
much alike, in contrast to storefronts, offices, and counters.

you said you know nothing about (Common) Lisp -- one of the things you
will experience is that the community is very different from the Windows
communities, whence it appears you come. for instance, the Common Lisp
market is not marketing-driven, it is not a pyramid game that requires
ever new people nor a bug-and-upgrade scam, and it is not leveraging its
operational costs across a huge volume of sales. rather, it is a pretty
mature market of long-term partnerships with a steady growth. the quick
sale is not unlike a one-night-stand in this setting and you _may_ just
have appeared much less than serious than you believed you were.

| I evaluated Allegro CL 5.0 and I really like it, but these people are
| basically sitting here with the "No we don't your money. Go give it to
| Harelquin" attitude, which is really frustrating since I want to purchase
| Allegro. Has anyone else had better luck with them?

yes, I have. the fact that I have happy Common Lisp clients today is
probably due mostly to the excellent and welcoming attitude at Franz Inc
when I first approached them. they have continued to be very helpful in
making my projects succeed, both for me and for my clients. I think what
you write is grossly unfair, so I have to reiterate my impression that
you have stumbled on a cultural conflict; not all restaurants serve fast
food, some cater to a very different audience and their tastes and needs.

#:Erik
--
The Microsoft Dating Program -- where do you want to crash tonight?

Vassili Bykov

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Dec 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/5/98
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In article <31218169...@naggum.no>,
Erik Naggum <er...@naggum.no> wrote:
> * "Zachary Turner" <ztu...@elsitech.com>

> | I evaluated Allegro CL 5.0 and I really like it, but these people are
> | basically sitting here with the "No we don't your money. Go give it to
> | Harelquin" attitude, which is really frustrating since I want to purchase
> | Allegro. Has anyone else had better luck with them?
>
> yes, I have. the fact that I have happy Common Lisp clients today is
> probably due mostly to the excellent and welcoming attitude at Franz Inc
> when I first approached them. they have continued to be very helpful in
> making my projects succeed, both for me and for my clients.

I can add that I have had a totally different (from Zachary's) experience in
communicating with Franz, in spite of never even having been their paying
customer. Virtually every e-mail inquiry sent to the sales (out of
curiosity, to keep an eye on the situation in case I do get a chance to
become a paying customer), as well as ordering of ACL 4.3 for Linux, was
followed up by a phone call from them. I have no idea what was the secret of
"looking serious", but I have always had an impression they indeed have a
very enthusiastic and welcoming attitude.

--Vassili

--
Vassili Bykov
The Object People
http://www.objectpeople.com

Vassili Bykov

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
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In article <7470f8$l5m$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,
john....@alcoa.com wrote:

> Corman Lisp is betaware. I recommend that if you have the money for
> real commercial grade software that you stick with Franz or
> Harlequin. They have been battle tested, implement the ANSI standards,
> and you will experience far fewer fustrations with them. My experience
> with Corman Lisp involved frequent crashes, missing features (like
> macrolet), and far slower performance.

Very true. But I do believe Corman Lisp has its place in the sun,
together with all the big commercial and non-commercial players,
because it scratches some itches other implementations do not.

> I hate to be negative but you can't
> really expect a new Lisp environment to be competitive with folks with
> a large staff and years behind their product?

Perhaps because there does not have to be a competition. You
obviously speak from the viewpoint of a corporate developer who has
the money and expects return of investment. This is great, but what
about the hobbyists? The "Personal" and "Lite" editions of LWW and
ACLW are very different from Corman Lisp, and not always to their
advantage. First thing, they are crippled, second, you don't have the
source, third, you are not allowed to redistribute them as parts of
your application.

> For a beginner on
> Windows I recommend Harlequin Lispworks Personal Edition and when you
> get a real project graduate to the Professional Edition (~$500) which
> costs only a few hundred more than what Corman wants.

What is better, open-source betaware or black box crippleware? Before
answering, it is important to consider what for.

For a beginner, LWW Personal or ACLW Lite are indeed the best choice.

But, there is not necessarily a graduation with getting a real Lisp
project. One may have Lisp-unrelated projects in real life they are
perfectly happy about, or unable to change for the time being. So
what do you use if you want something that is not crippled, is still
free or very low cost, allows you to let others see and use your work
as an application, and allows you to see what is inside so that you
can add what is missing or fix what is broken? None of the free
versions of the big commercial players fit the description.

As for "what Corman wants", you seem to have misread the license
conditions. Roger does not want anything for the compiler and the
runtime system. Corman Lisp is free, and that is uncrippled version
with the right to non-commercially distribute binary applications
which may include the compiler. None of the free versions of the
commercial stuff in Windows come close to this. Add to that full
source code, and there is some weight to compare.

Now, on the technical side, Corman Lisp has a very interesting balance
between low-level and high-level stuff. You can do everything a C
programmer can. This was the reason I said the original poster may be
interested in Corman Lisp, since there was some talk about polygon
pushing and game programming. The FFI in Corman Lisp is very flexible
and transparent. The assembly-level stuff is fully open, to the point
that one can write inline assembly code in Lisp functions. It is,
essentially, Lisp with all the capabilities of C when it comes to
communicating with the outside world.

So, my take on this (besides that I don't think Lisp community
should (or, even, can afford to) kick the underdog) is yes,
Corman Lisp is worse compared to the entrenched big commercial
players, but it just might happen to be the kind of worse that is
better here and there...

--Vassili

P.S. BTW, Roger Corman will soon release an update with improved
thread stability (those crashes are due to Windows thread
implementation "features"), macrolet, and the full source--Lisp and C,
among some other things.

P.P.S. No, I am not affiliated with Roger.

P.^3S. If you are interested in joining an online community of Corman
Lisp users, you are welcome to <http://www.dejanews.com/~cormanlisp>.

Rainer Joswig

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
to
In article <74d0hq$iti$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, Vassili Bykov
<vas...@objectpeople.com> wrote:

>
> As for "what Corman wants", you seem to have misread the license
> conditions. Roger does not want anything for the compiler and the
> runtime system. Corman Lisp is free, and that is uncrippled version
> with the right to non-commercially distribute binary applications
> which may include the compiler. None of the free versions of the
> commercial stuff in Windows come close to this. Add to that full
> source code, and there is some weight to compare.

"Free" nowadays often seems to be:

- you are free to fix the bugs you never wanted to fix.
- you are free to implement the functionality you
never wanted to program yourself
- you are free to wade through large amounts of complicated
source code you never wanted to look at

Some people seem to really underestimate the massive amount of work
that is needed to write a really usable and balanced system. This
week I checked a small piece of code (two pages) in five Lisp systems.
a) one *free* versions I checked was not able to run it
(a class fixnum?) without modifications
b) for the two free systems I gave up waiting for the result
(P266 and SUN E250). My old MacIvory beats them. Ha!

So, people don't get your expectations to high and never underestimate
the work that is needed to develop a Lisp system. I said it some
time ago, I have ***high*** respect for guys like Roger Corman
who are trying to tame the beast.

--
http://www.lavielle.com/~joswig

Pierre Mai

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
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jos...@lavielle.com (Rainer Joswig) writes:

> Some people seem to really underestimate the massive amount of work
> that is needed to write a really usable and balanced system. This
> week I checked a small piece of code (two pages) in five Lisp systems.
> a) one *free* versions I checked was not able to run it
> (a class fixnum?) without modifications

While the ANSI Standard does not mandate that the type specifier
FIXNUM have a corresponding class (unlike INTEGER), it does IMHO
allow implementations to define classes for other type specifiers
(Section 4.3.7):

"Individual implementations may be extended to define other type
specifiers to have a corresponding class."

CMU CL does define a class for FIXNUM.

> b) for the two free systems I gave up waiting for the result
> (P266 and SUN E250). My old MacIvory beats them. Ha!

If you could give me access to the source code, I´d be very interested
in looking into performance issues in CMU CL on Intel, so that the
quality of implementation increases for one of the free systems out
there ;)

> So, people don't get your expectations to high and never underestimate
> the work that is needed to develop a Lisp system. I said it some

Regs, Pierre.

--
Pierre Mai <pm...@acm.org> http://home.pages.de/~trillian/
"One smaller motivation which, in part, stems from altruism is Microsoft-
bashing." [Microsoft memo, see http://www.opensource.org/halloween1.html]

john....@alcoa.com

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
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In article <74d0hq$iti$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,
Vassili Bykov <vas...@objectpeople.com> wrote:
>
> > As for "what Corman wants", you seem to have misread the license
> conditions. Roger does not want anything for the compiler and the
> runtime system. Corman Lisp is free

He wants $300 for the development environment if memory serves me. The rest is
"free".

I want to correct something else I said earlier. Allegro CL Professional is
something like $4000 which gives you the ability to distribute runtime
internal to a corporation (external to corporation Franz wants to negotiate a
cut). There is an Allegro Personal which is in the $500-900 range but no
runtime ability which I had not mentioned.

--
John Watton
Aluminum Company of America

-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------

Rainer Joswig

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
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In article <87soetm...@orion.dent.isdn.cs.tu-berlin.de>, Pierre Mai
<pm...@acm.org> wrote:

> > b) for the two free systems I gave up waiting for the result
> > (P266 and SUN E250). My old MacIvory beats them. Ha!
>

> If you could give me access to the source code, I=B4d be very interested


> in looking into performance issues in CMU CL on Intel, so that the
> quality of implementation increases for one of the free systems out
> there ;)

Nothing special. Just using generic functions instead of
ordinary functions. Calling methods seems to have a huge overhead
(also conses like hell) in CMU CL. The version without methods
ran as expected. I tried this test only
once on my MacIvory and actually methods were faster (!) - on other
implementations there was a 15% speed penalty using
methods.

--
http://www.lavielle.com/~joswig

Rainer Joswig

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
to

> While the ANSI Standard does not mandate that the type specifier
> FIXNUM have a corresponding class (unlike INTEGER), it does IMHO
> allow implementations to define classes for other type specifiers
> (Section 4.3.7):
>
> "Individual implementations may be extended to define other type
> specifiers to have a corresponding class."
>
> CMU CL does define a class for FIXNUM.

You are right.

--
http://www.lavielle.com/~joswig

Rainer Joswig

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
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In article <74eois$u59$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, john....@alcoa.com wrote:

> In article <74d0hq$iti$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,
> Vassili Bykov <vas...@objectpeople.com> wrote:
> >
> > > As for "what Corman wants", you seem to have misread the license
> > conditions. Roger does not want anything for the compiler and the
> > runtime system. Corman Lisp is free
>
> He wants $300 for the development environment if memory serves me. The rest is
> "free".
>
> I want to correct something else I said earlier. Allegro CL Professional is
> something like $4000 which gives you the ability to distribute runtime
> internal to a corporation (external to corporation Franz wants to negotiate a
> cut). There is an Allegro Personal which is in the $500-900 range but no
> runtime ability which I had not mentioned.

So it seems that LispWorks for Windows is much cheaper?

--
http://www.lavielle.com/~joswig

Georg Bauer

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
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In article <joswig-0612...@194.163.195.67>, jos...@lavielle.com
(Rainer Joswig) wrote:

Exactly. With commercial applications, this greatly differs:

>- you are free to fix the bugs you never wanted to fix.

You are not free to fix the bugs you never wanted to fix. In fact, often
you don't have the sources to fix it.

>- you are free to implement the functionality you
> never wanted to program yourself

You might be possible to add the functionality you need but the company
never want's to implement. In fact, as soon as you want to fix things in
the lowest levels of the product, you are most often lost. It is better
with Lisp, since Lisp is much better customizeable than C++-Compilers, but
the problem still exists.

>- you are free to wade through large amounts of complicated
> source code you never wanted to look at

Yes, that is definitely much better with commercial products where you
don't get source at all. You might get _some_ source, as with most Lisps,
but that is not a quite common case for commercial software.

No, I definitely prefer high-quality Open Source [TM] software. Makes
living easier, especial in my field of work. Of course, there is much crap
out there. But actually with free software, you don't have to pay for
crap, like is the case with commercial ones.

bye, Georg

Vassili Bykov

unread,
Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to
In article <74eois$u59$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, john....@alcoa.com wrote:
> In article <74d0hq$iti$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,
> Vassili Bykov <vas...@objectpeople.com> wrote:
> >
> > > As for "what Corman wants", you seem to have misread the license
> > conditions. Roger does not want anything for the compiler and the
> > runtime system. Corman Lisp is free
>
> He wants $300 for the development environment if memory serves me. The rest is
> "free".

Right now it's $100. This buys the IDE and the right to sell the applications
you develop.

I don't see the need to quote "free" talking about the rest, the rest has
enough value by itself :-). It's not free in the sense of FSF, it is free in
the sense you don't have to pay. (And in the more humourous senses suggested
by Rainer Joswig). And quite frankly, the IDE is not that great, at least for
now, compared to simple Emacs, so taking it out does not turn the rest into
crippleware.

I never wanted to imply Corman Lisp would give Franz or Harlequin a run for
their money. But, they are players of totally different leagues, and this
works both ways. ACLW Lite and LWW Personal do not have some of the virtues
of Corman Lisp. Those of the hobbyists experienced enough to not be afraid
of rough spots and looking for easy access to foreign and low-level stuff,
can have some great time with Corman Lisp. It all boils down to where you
interests are.

--Vassili

--
Vassili Bykov
The Object People
http://www.objectpeople.com

-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------

Rainer Joswig

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Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to
In article <gb-061298...@hugo.westfalen.de>, g...@hugo.westfalen.de
(Georg Bauer) wrote:

> In article <joswig-0612...@194.163.195.67>, jos...@lavielle.com
> (Rainer Joswig) wrote:
>
> Exactly. With commercial applications, this greatly differs:
>
> >- you are free to fix the bugs you never wanted to fix.
>
> You are not free to fix the bugs you never wanted to fix. In fact, often
> you don't have the sources to fix it.

Often source doesn't help you or access to source
isn't even the problem at all.

Will access to source magically give a Lisp system
a usable GC? Even getting a decent
UI seems not to be possible. Does "Open Source"
and Lisp mean: we will get nowhere?

This stuff is really complicated. It is **naive** to expect
that this will show up soon. What's out there is
light-years away from even the ancient
Xerox InterLisp-D systems.

> >- you are free to wade through large amounts of complicated
> > source code you never wanted to look at
>
> Yes, that is definitely much better with commercial products where you
> don't get source at all. You might get _some_ source,

So you lately have looked into your Genera file system, right?
Looked for the sources of Genera?
Maybe you even have installed the additional source folder
of MCL on your Mac. Did you need it? Much? Would you
have needed it?

> as with most Lisps,
> but that is not a quite common case for commercial software.

I better ask the experts.

> No, I definitely prefer high-quality Open Source [TM]

Now it is a trademark? Religious marketing bullshit.

> software.

--
http://www.lavielle.com/~joswig

Craig Brozefsky

unread,
Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to
jos...@lavielle.com (Rainer Joswig) writes:

> Often source doesn't help you or access to source
> isn't even the problem at all.
>
> Will access to source magically give a Lisp system
> a usable GC?

Certainly not, and I don't think that anyone is making that claim. It
has to be written wether the author puts it into public domain or not.
People are motivated by many different things, and not all of them may
be congruent to your motivations and goals, or mine.

I think the previous poster has different criteria for making his
decision about what system to use than you do, and both sides need to
be aware of that. For some a liberal license for distribution is more
important than GC performance, and for others performance and features
are worth whatever price is asked. Luckily, both sides can be
satisfied! It's all good man, it's all lisp.

> > No, I definitely prefer high-quality Open Source [TM]
>
> Now it is a trademark? Religious marketing bullshit.

Yes. Bruce Perens and Eric Raymond have started an organization to do
Open Source license certification, and part of their plan is to
trademark the term that has been in public use since way before they
applied for the trademark, and "protect it" from misuse. It's
actually ideologically free and makes extra effort to espouse the
proper party lines about pragmatism and realism that makes corporate
bottom-feeders salivate. So it's Non-Religious marketing bullshit,
but marketing bullshit none the less. Be sure not to confuse them
with the people who actually writing code.

Tim Bradshaw

unread,
Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to
* Rainer Joswig wrote:

> So you lately have looked into your Genera file system, right?
> Looked for the sources of Genera?

Yes, I do that a lot. I've even fixed bugs in it (not the file
system, the networking stuff). I'm very glad they gave source out
(albeit it wasn't open source), I wish more people did, as it can
really save a bunch of time.

--tim


Rainer Joswig

unread,
Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to
In article <ey3pv9w...@todday.aiai.ed.ac.uk>, Tim Bradshaw
<t...@aiai.ed.ac.uk> wrote:

> * Rainer Joswig wrote:
>
> > So you lately have looked into your Genera file system, right?
> > Looked for the sources of Genera?
>
> Yes, I do that a lot. I've even fixed bugs in it (not the file
> system, the networking stuff). I'm very glad they gave source out
> (albeit it wasn't open source),

Some of this stuff was by accident, AFAIK. ;-) Like the CLIM source. ;-)

> I wish more people did, as it can
> really save a bunch of time.

Open Genera should be shipped with even more source code, as I heard.

--
http://www.lavielle.com/~joswig

Zachary Turner

unread,
Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to

> you said you know nothing about (Common) Lisp -- one of the things you
> will experience is that the community is very different from the Windows
> communities, whence it appears you come. for instance, the Common Lisp
> market is not marketing-driven, it is not a pyramid game that requires
> ever new people nor a bug-and-upgrade scam, and it is not leveraging its
> operational costs across a huge volume of sales. rather, it is a pretty
> mature market of long-term partnerships with a steady growth. the quick
> sale is not unlike a one-night-stand in this setting and you _may_ just
> have appeared much less than serious than you believed you were.
>
>| I evaluated Allegro CL 5.0 and I really like it, but these people are
>| basically sitting here with the "No we don't your money. Go give it to
>| Harelquin" attitude, which is really frustrating since I want to purchase
>| Allegro. Has anyone else had better luck with them?
>
> yes, I have. the fact that I have happy Common Lisp clients today is
> probably due mostly to the excellent and welcoming attitude at Franz Inc
> when I first approached them. they have continued to be very helpful in
> making my projects succeed, both for me and for my clients. I think what
> you write is grossly unfair, so I have to reiterate my impression that
> you have stumbled on a cultural conflict; not all restaurants serve fast
> food, some cater to a very different audience and their tastes and needs.

How is it unfair? Was there ever a time when you knew *nothing* about
Common Lisp? I'm inclined to believe that there was. Just call it a hunch.
Judging by your other posts to this NG it seems like you want to come across
as the allmighty Lisp programmer who knows all, but you were just a baby
wearing a diaper sucking out of a bottle at one point too. So does that
mean that you deserved to be treated differently than someone who had been
programming in Lisp longer than you? You'll probably say yes for argument's
sake but the _correct_ answer is no. The bottom line is that you have no
idea how serious I am about all my motives behind purchasing a commercial
Lisp implementation. I could be purchasing it so that I can do Lisp on my
spare time, or I could be trying to be the next allmighty Erik Naggum. So
please, don't presume to make claims about the validity of my complaints,
because they were very valid complaints. However, none of this matters
anymore because the issue has since been resolved. I have been contacted by
two different people from Franz, Inc. both of whom have been extremely
helpful. And the bottom line still remains that if they weren't selling
licenses they wouldn't be in business. That's generally how it works.
Whether I want to buy 1 license or 100 licenses doesn't change the situation
any. I'm still trying to give them money.

Zach

Erik Naggum

unread,
Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to
* g...@hugo.westfalen.de (Georg Bauer)

| Exactly. With commercial applications, this greatly differs:
|
| >- you are free to fix the bugs you never wanted to fix.
|
| You are not free to fix the bugs you never wanted to fix. In fact, often
| you don't have the sources to fix it.

I have fixed some thirty-odd problems in Allegro CL with advise before I
got source code, and once I got a load of source with the commercial
support agreement, I fixed yet more problems. it appears that my fixes
are migrating into Franz Inc's own code base. however, it often takes a
whole day to write a good bug report, and only an hour or so to tweak
some behavior in the source. for some reason, navigating in the source
code that came with Allegro CL had only one obstacle: the IF* macro. the
rest was a breeze. :)

| >- you are free to implement the functionality you
| > never wanted to program yourself
|
| You might be possible to add the functionality you need but the company
| never want's to implement. In fact, as soon as you want to fix things in
| the lowest levels of the product, you are most often lost. It is better
| with Lisp, since Lisp is much better customizeable than C++-Compilers,
| but the problem still exists.

well, _my_ Allegro CL 5.0 now does

(format nil "~,,' ,4:B" (get-universal-time))
=> "1011 1010 0001 0110 1000 0111 1110 1001"

because I needed this behavior and didn't feel like writing my own FORMAT
substitute or function to hack numbers and suck. the changes were
actually fairly simple.

| >- you are free to wade through large amounts of complicated
| > source code you never wanted to look at
|
| Yes, that is definitely much better with commercial products where you

| don't get source at all. You might get _some_ source, as with most Lisps,


| but that is not a quite common case for commercial software.

all Allegro CL licensees receive a lot of source code with their (signed)
support agreement. not the internals, of course, but the functions you
would normally call or need to understand.

| No, I definitely prefer high-quality Open Source [TM] software. Makes
| living easier, especial in my field of work. Of course, there is much

| crap out there. But actually with free software, you don't have to pay


| for crap, like is the case with commercial ones.

I don't pay for crappy software to begin with. why do other people? if
you are implying that commercial Common Lisp implementations are crap, I
think you have an attitude problem so big you should be dismissed as a
lunatic, like the other "Free Software" fanatic who posts occasionally to
this newsgroup.

Erik Naggum

unread,
Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to
* "Zachary Turner" <ztu...@elsitech.com>

| Judging by your other posts to this NG it seems like you want to come
| across as the allmighty Lisp programmer who knows all, but you were just
| a baby wearing a diaper sucking out of a bottle at one point too.

newsgroups are not the proper place to discuss your personal problems,
and especially not projecting them onto others in pathetic desperation.

| So does that mean that you deserved to be treated differently than
| someone who had been programming in Lisp longer than you?

I do my homework and work hard to be competent in what I do. that
generally _does_ have a positive effect on other competent people,
actually no matter what they are competent in. I assume you wouldn't
know what I'm talking about.

| You'll probably say yes for argument's sake but the _correct_ answer is
| no.

OK, I won't confuse your mind with facts. it would probably hurt a lot.

| The bottom line is that you have no idea how serious I am about all my
| motives behind purchasing a commercial Lisp implementation.

I never claimed to have. I'm sorry that you have this personal problem
that you have to take out on me, but if you could please go back and read
what I wrote and stop imputing all sorts of insanities to me just because
_you_ would think that way, maybe you'll figure out something important.

| So please, don't presume to make claims about the validity of my
| complaints, because they were very valid complaints.

sure. in the context of your personally experience, but not universally.
since you seem to be the kind of guy who makes universal claims out of
your personal experience, I assume you won't grasp the difference nor the
fact that your fucking stupid "allmighty" crap should tell everybody that
they should stay _far_ away from you.

| I have been contacted by two different people from Franz, Inc. both of
| whom have been extremely helpful. And the bottom line still remains that
| if they weren't selling licenses they wouldn't be in business. That's
| generally how it works. Whether I want to buy 1 license or 100 licenses
| doesn't change the situation any. I'm still trying to give them money.

I wouldn't sell anything to you. nor do I think anybody else should.

Zachary Turner

unread,
Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to
You don't have many friends do you?

rusty craine

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Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to

Zachary Turner wrote in message <74h5vb$osl$1...@uuneo.neosoft.com>...

>You don't have many friends do you?
>
>
I like the guy. He takes no prisoners and ask for no quarter. There are
several guys in the NG (hmmm no women?) that I try to learn all the lisp I
can from. He's one of them. If ya piss him off just duck your head, wait
till it's over and keep on learning [I'm still a few posting from know it
all :)].

If ya decided to get in a verbable joust with him wear your flack jacket.
He seems to come prepared.

Rusty

Vassili Bykov

unread,
Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to
Erik Naggum wrote in message <31220406...@naggum.no>...

> I don't pay for crappy software to begin with. why do other people? if
> you are implying that commercial Common Lisp implementations are crap, I
> think you have an attitude problem so big you should be dismissed as a
> lunatic, like the other "Free Software" fanatic who posts occasionally to
> this newsgroup.


Hmm, who would that be?


Zachary Turner

unread,
Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to
I dont' want to get in a verbal joust with anyone, and perhaps my rant was
partially unjustified, but I take offense to being made feel like i don't
belong in the Lisp community simply because I am a beginner. If that's not
what he was saying, then I apologize for going off. Otherwise, there's no
reason for me to sit here and have someone tell me that i'm not worthy of
programming in Lisp. In any case, that's how it came across.

Zach

rusty craine wrote in message <74h7lf$p8k$1...@excalibur.flash.net>...

Vassili Bykov

unread,
Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to
Zachary Turner wrote in message <74h8s6$ph4$1...@uuneo.neosoft.com>...

>I dont' want to get in a verbal joust with anyone, and perhaps my rant was
>partially unjustified, but I take offense to being made feel like i don't
>belong in the Lisp community simply because I am a beginner. If that's not
>what he was saying, then I apologize for going off. Otherwise, there's no
>reason for me to sit here and have someone tell me that i'm not worthy of
>programming in Lisp. In any case, that's how it came across.


Zach, I think all you have to do is to give another call to Franz and/or
send an e-mail to the sales. I really have had a very positive experience
with their attitude. They obviously don't have a staff of ten to handle
sales, and you might have just hit the rough patch the first time you tried.

--Vassili


my-las...@mediaone.net

unread,
Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to
Another opinion.

.. On Lisp, Free and Commercial ..

Lisp is a fairly complicated language and environment. It has always been my
opinion that the best lisp is a supported lisp, and that the quality of one's
experience with lisp is proportional to the quality of support.

Some free lisps are supported, but not to the level of a commercial lisp.

Even for my own personal endeavors, I purchase a supported lisp. I don't like
spending the dollars, but for the value I receive it certainly is justified when
compared to things like Visual C++, etc.

And I definitely prefer to write my code, and not spend my time doctoring
someone else's code in some free lisp implementation. I've written GC's, but
that doesn't mean I want to write another one, for no pay, when I have more
pressing code to write, and throw it into some free lisp.

On the other hand, sometimes getting a reproducible bug report to a lisp vendor
is vastly more work without the sources, and I'm not happy when I spend days
essentially acting as a QA resource for a lisp vendor. But these things happen.
At least with a lisp vendor I get (a) the fix, and (b) some degree of
expectation that the fix will be maintained in future versions. That's more
than I can say for bugs I find in the Sun JDK. There it's a case of "maybe I'll
get a fix, some day".

I'm really glad to see new lisps like Corman's lisp come about, simply because I
believe in lisp and want to see it stick around. (I like the .sig I see in some
poster's messages in this group, "those who don't know lisp are destined to
repeat it", or something like that). I'm also glad there are free lisps, and I
don't mean them any injustice. Maybe they're very good. I haven't used them,
except for Kyoto Common Lisp many years ago, which is more or less when I
adopted my motto: "The only good lisp is a supported lisp". KCL was adequate,
but nothing to write home about. That doesn't mean I wouldn't use it, I just
prefer a more supported lisp and am willing to spend the money. But I'm
dedicated to my lisp applications, and they're not just academic toys for me, so
I'm also dedicated to using a well supported lisp.

.. On Franz ..

I've been a Franz customer for years, their support is very good. Sure,
sometimes there are things they don't fix because it's too hard, or they just
can't cost justify it. But I've never been left with a mission critical
application failure by them. If it's critical they fix it, at least in their
mainstream products (Lisp).

Some of their lesser-known products (such as Allegrostore) receive less support
because there is less demand for the product, and less revenue to justify fixes.
It's a chicken-and-egg problem, since they'd sell more if they supported it
better, in my opinion.

That Franz wants to make money is fine with me. They don't give product away
and that's okay, I'd hate to see them go out of business for being
revenue-stupid. I've found that they're open to negotiation if you're
developing non-commercial applications and want a higher powered version of
their product. They'd rather sell you some lisp for less than not sell it at
all, as long as you're not trying to take advantage of them (their good support
has real costs, after all).

I admit that even as a satisfied customer, I have found one or two acts of
pricing by them to be rather predatory, so I'm not always sanguine about the
money, but by and large they're sensible, negotiable, and provide value for your
dollar.

I expect Harlequin is too. I only hope they're not about to go six-feet-under
as a lisp vendor, it'd be terrible for the lisp community both by removing a
source of lisp (threatening the lisp supply), and allowing supply and demand to
raise my costs (threatening *my* lisp supply). Any analogy you draw between
lisp and certain recreational drugs is strictly your own :-)

... On commercial application deployment ...

I strongly dislike the current royalty requirement for commercially deployed
lisp applications. I believe that lisp should be like other languages, allowing
me to deploy my application without owing the lisp vendor a cut of the deployed
application. ACLPC 3.0.2 used to allow this, but ACL5 does not. If Franz is
too demanding in the royalty clause for my current project, it could kill use of
their lisp as the tool to make it happen. It could also kill my project. But
again, they're open to negoation, and I view them as a strategic partner and
enabler, not as someone trying to kill my project.

A free lisp doesn't necessarily have this restriction, but the GNU copyleft can
equally kill use of the free lisp for deployment of COMMERCIAL applications.

Your mileage varies with various free lisps or lisp vendors in this regard,
Franz isn't alone and so I don't mean to single them out. If I used Symbolics
platforms to deliver my app, then I'd either need to ship Ivory machines, or
perhaps license OpenGenera for all the platforms. I'm not sure about the
latter, but it's a good bet they're not going to let you deploy a Genera app
without a Genera license.

Either way, I feel that this particular thing hurts the viability of lisp as a
commercial application deployment vehicle. Tough call though, since it also
helps current lisp vendors remain in business. Ah well...

Apologies for the longwinded reply.
D. Tenny
my-las...@mediaone.net - no spam please

Zachary Turner

unread,
Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to

>Zach, I think all you have to do is to give another call to Franz and/or
>send an e-mail to the sales. I really have had a very positive experience
>with their attitude. They obviously don't have a staff of ten to handle
>sales, and you might have just hit the rough patch the first time you
tried.


Yeah, like I said a few posts ago, they got back to me and have been very
helpful and accommodating. I am quite happy with them.

Zach

Craig Brozefsky

unread,
Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to
my-las...@mediaone.net writes:

> A free lisp doesn't necessarily have this restriction, but the GNU
> copyleft can equally kill use of the free lisp for deployment of
> COMMERCIAL applications.

CMUCL is public domain, you could do whatever you want with it.

The GPL would only kill your application if you did not want to, or
couldn't, distribute the application under the GPL, and you were using
a GPLed lisp. I can think of many applications for which this would
be a project killer, but I can also think of many where it would not
make a difference.

David Steuber The Interloper

unread,
Dec 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/8/98
to
On Mon, 7 Dec 1998 12:15:36 -0000, "Zachary Turner"
<ztu...@elsitech.com> claimed or asked:

% You don't have many friends do you?

Enhance your calm, Zachary and Erik.

While your little flame war is quite entertaining, it is something of
a waste of bandwidth.

Back on topic, I am finding that Graham's "ANSI Common Lisp" is a good
book. It is a bit steep. No running up that hill. But the book is
thin like K&R C and contains exercises relevant to the material that
was introduced. There is always this news group for additional
information if Graham proves too difficult.

BTW, that little remark about Erik seems uncalled for. Erik has never
held back when posting to this group, and I for one am glad of it.

--
David Steuber (ver 1.31.3a)
http://www.david-steuber.com
To reply by e-mail, replace trashcan with david.

May the source be with you...

Erik Naggum

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Dec 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/8/98
to
* "Zachary Turner" <ztu...@elsitech.com>

| I dont' want to get in a verbal joust with anyone, and perhaps my rant
| was partially unjustified, but I take offense to being made feel like i
| don't belong in the Lisp community simply because I am a beginner.

your being a beginner had nothing to do with it. your being arrogant out
of your ignorance does. ignorant people can learn. arrogant ignorant
people can't. I welcome anyone who wants to learn. I'd rather those who
can't just go away.

| If that's not what he was saying, then I apologize for going off.

accepted.

| Otherwise, there's no reason for me to sit here and have someone tell me
| that i'm not worthy of programming in Lisp.

you will find no grounds for his paranoid delusion if you actually read
what people write instead of reacting as if they wrote what you think it
looks like they did.

| In any case, that's how it came across.

... to you. there's no universality in this. don't think there is.

Georg Bauer

unread,
Dec 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/8/98
to
In article <joswig-0712...@194.163.195.67>, Rainer Joswig wrote:

Be warned, this get's long. Hey, _you_ started me on this, so you
deserve what you get ;-)

>Will access to source magically give a Lisp system

>a usable GC? Even getting a decent
>UI seems not to be possible.

Does being commercial help there? I say no. Just because there are
_loads_ of good Open Source software out there. Sure, there are parts
missing - everybody can feel free and add what's missing. The problem I
have with commercial products is that you are tied to what the company
delivers. And there the money plays and not the end user (except where
the end user is where the money is - often enough that is not the case).
If the user would be so important, there would be a CLIM implementation
on every commercial common lisp by now. And there won't be a fight
between SUN and M$ about what Java should be. And there wouldn't be
something like the Halloween Documents.

Ok, granted, the few Lisp companies left are doing quite good. But that
isn't symptomatic for commercial products. For example I would never try
to build an ISP on commercial systems and commercial software. Too much
problems - just look at parts like encryption software, interoperability
etc. No, M$ might try to _sell_ you that there software is
interoperable, but in reality it isn't. They change things like it is
fitting them, even if they break available standards with that.

Sure, sometimes Open Source Software breaks standards, too. But then I
am able to fix that. Not always myself, but it is easier to hire someone
with the right knowledge when the source is available and not a closed
secret. For example I would really like to have sources at least for
parts of Exchange Server, just to get this FPOS to run correctly.

From my point of view of administering Novell and NT servers now for
some years and using in parallel Linux based systems for as many
situations as possible (of course, the important part here is "possible"
- there are lot's of situations where I won't use Linux, just because
there still isn't software for that kind of situation), I would
definitily give Linux the thumbs-up and commercial support the
thumbs-down.

The main problem is, that commercial support is often not up to what
they try to sell. That's the case with every _big_ company (big in the
really big sense) I met. The smaller companies do much better, but it
still is a problem when you want to change things the way _you_ want it.
As soon as you hit the nerve of a programmer when you want to do things
that he doen not like, you _wish_ you had the source.

>So you lately have looked into your Genera file system, right?

You happened to notice that Symbolics is a bit of dead at the moment?
Just asking. No worries :-)

>Maybe you even have installed the additional source folder
>of MCL on your Mac. Did you need it? Much? Would you
>have needed it?

Sure. If not for patching, but for documentation. Because the available
documentation for this commercial product does much leave to be desired.
So I look where I know where the documentation is: in the source. As I
said, Lisp companies doing much better in this problem than others.
Where did you find the sources to the runtime library of Visual Basic?
And how about applying security patches to IIS or Netscape FastTrack
(the latter one might change some time, since Netscape itself joined the
Open Source idea).

>I better ask the experts.

Yes, you definitely should ask them. Hey, you practically _begged_ for
this comment :-)

>Now it is a trademark? Religious marketing bullshit.

Nope. It is just a way to prohibit others to jump a bandwagon without
giving back to the community. There are several ways to solve that
problem. One is the GPL that has many problems (although most of them
are only psychologic problems and not real ones) in the commercial
world. Another one is the Open Source trademark: just a very simple and
easy to follow statement about what software is Open Source compliant
without the "idealistic" hassles of the GPL. So it is much easier to
talk about Open Source in a commercial surrounding than it is about GPL.

You _did_ notice that commercial companies begin to join the Open
Source idea? And some of them really without any force? Even for big
companies there are areas where Open Source pays the rent (like IBM and
Apache to give one example).

Ideologic blindfolding is happening on both sides - those supporting
Open Source and those refusing it. And it is bad on both sides. Open
Source is not the enemy of commercial products. It is just another way
of doing business with different goals.

BTW: Open Source is named in this way to avoid the confusion the "Free
Software" idea had. It is not important that the software is available
for free. It is important what level of freedom in using the available
source you have, to distinguish Open Source from simple giveaways.

To sum it up for me: for servers I prefer Linux. That's why I am still
interested in free Common Lisps, as they would make a perfect base for
CLHTTPD on Linux. On workstations, I still prefer my Mac running MacOS
just because of the IMO superior GUI. There are some promising new
developments for X, but up to now they are far behind what the Mac gives
me.

Sure, this is my personal resume, others might look different at the
situation. But your original posting that I commented in a somewhat
sloppy fashion just cried for some form of correction. Sure, usually I
am a Open Source advocate, but since I have something like a real life
in a real job, I have to look at things differently than RMS for
example. And funny enough, after now over 12 years of work, I think I
like the Open Source idea even more than before. When it wasn't for the
job, Open Source and GPL only gave me free access to good software. Now
I get high-quality tools to get my job done. The "for free" is not
important any more - but the "source included" is.

There are only few standing axioms in the computing business, and those
are not silly things like Moore's law but more things like:

1. All software sucks.
2. All hardware sucks.
3. Sales-Droids are your enemy.
4. There is only one way to get it done: do it yourself.
5. Management will choose the technologically inferior product.
6. Software is only as good as the next guy. And that is a moron.
7. If it is a stupid idea to ride a dead horse, management will do it.

Open Source doesn't solve those, but it helps to solve the problems
arising out of those :-)

And yes, there is a Open Hardware movement, too. And yes, there are
companies that join in. Not many, but it is a start. Make an end to
closed hardware where you don't get a driver for _your_ OS, just because
no one get's a description of the interfaces. And I really believe
that that has nothing to do with religion but everything with good common
sense.

bye, Georg

Erik Naggum

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Dec 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/9/98