WiRED: Lisp and Smalltalk on "Endangered Species" list

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Mark Watson

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Jun 11, 2002, 3:22:52 PM6/11/02
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The July issue of WiRED Magazine has a cool two page spread on the
history of programming languages.

The only problem: they have Lisp and Smalltalk
listed as "endangered species" :-(

-Mark

-- Mark Watson, author and Java consultant
-- www.markwatson.com - Open Source and Open Content
-- www.knowledgebooks.com - Commercial artificial intelligence software

Craig Brozefsky

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Jun 11, 2002, 3:50:19 PM6/11/02
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Mark Watson <ma...@markwatson.com> writes:

> The July issue of WiRED Magazine has a cool two page spread on the
> history of programming languages.
>
> The only problem: they have Lisp and Smalltalk
> listed as "endangered species" :-(

Yah, that's an authoritative voice in our world...

Kenny Tilton

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Jun 11, 2002, 4:02:54 PM6/11/02
to
Mark Watson wrote:
>
> The July issue of WiRED Magazine has a cool two page spread on the
> history of programming languages.
>
> The only problem: they have Lisp and Smalltalk
> listed as "endangered species" :-(

Hey, we're just happy to be remembered! Now let's see who goes to whose
funeral, Lisp or Wired.

:)

--

kenny tilton
clinisys, inc
---------------------------------------------------------------
""Well, I've wrestled with reality for thirty-five years, Doctor,
and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it.""
Elwood P. Dowd

sv0f

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Jun 11, 2002, 5:03:39 PM6/11/02
to
In article <3D06595F...@nyc.rr.com>, Kenny Tilton
<kti...@nyc.rr.com> wrote:

>Mark Watson wrote:
>>
>> The July issue of WiRED Magazine has a cool two page spread on the
>> history of programming languages.
>>
>> The only problem: they have Lisp and Smalltalk
>> listed as "endangered species" :-(
>
>Hey, we're just happy to be remembered! Now let's see who goes to whose
>funeral, Lisp or Wired.
>
>:)

I recently inherited a stack of Wireds from the late 1990s.

It's absolutely hilarious to read their pompous predictions
about a future that we know has not come to be.

(Example from the 10/97 issue I scanned yesterday: By 2000,
all video will be streamed via the internet, traditional
television and cable companies will be defunct, RealNetworks
will be your one-stop media superstore, and the only real
question is whether they will still be an independent company
(worth $100,000,000,000) or part of Microsoft.)

Given their track record, I'm actually uplifted by this news!

Barry Margolin

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Jun 11, 2002, 5:20:34 PM6/11/02
to
In article <none-11060...@129.59.212.53>, sv0f <no...@none.org> wrote:
>I recently inherited a stack of Wireds from the late 1990s.
>
>It's absolutely hilarious to read their pompous predictions
>about a future that we know has not come to be.
>
>(Example from the 10/97 issue I scanned yesterday: By 2000,
>all video will be streamed via the internet, traditional
>television and cable companies will be defunct, RealNetworks
>will be your one-stop media superstore, and the only real
>question is whether they will still be an independent company
>(worth $100,000,000,000) or part of Microsoft.)
>
>Given their track record, I'm actually uplifted by this news!

To their credit, they were hardly the only ones predicting this. By many
accounts, broadband was supposed to revolutionize the Internet, enabling a
host of content-delivery applications like this. Cable TV companies
upgraded their infrastructures with the expectation of video-on-demand and
interactive TV, but the killer apps never materialized; now all they do
with it is provide cable modem service and additional digital TV channels,
and they're losing money as a result.

The track record of futurists has been pretty poor for a long time -- where
are all the flying cars? We don't have *any* of the technology that "2001:
A Space Osyssey" predicted -- even picturephones, which should have been
easy (compared to space colonization), are still just a curiosity rather
than everyday appliances.

--
Barry Margolin, bar...@genuity.net
Genuity, Woburn, MA
*** DON'T SEND TECHNICAL QUESTIONS DIRECTLY TO ME, post them to newsgroups.
Please DON'T copy followups to me -- I'll assume it wasn't posted to the group.

Paul Wallich

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Jun 11, 2002, 7:03:53 PM6/11/02
to
In article <CQtN8.28$9n1....@paloalto-snr2.gtei.net>,
Barry Margolin <bar...@genuity.net> wrote:

>In article <none-11060...@129.59.212.53>, sv0f <no...@none.org> wrote:
>>I recently inherited a stack of Wireds from the late 1990s.
>>
>>It's absolutely hilarious to read their pompous predictions
>>about a future that we know has not come to be.
>>
>>(Example from the 10/97 issue I scanned yesterday: By 2000,
>>all video will be streamed via the internet, traditional
>>television and cable companies will be defunct, RealNetworks
>>will be your one-stop media superstore, and the only real
>>question is whether they will still be an independent company
>>(worth $100,000,000,000) or part of Microsoft.)
>>
>>Given their track record, I'm actually uplifted by this news!
>
>To their credit, they were hardly the only ones predicting this. By many
>accounts, broadband was supposed to revolutionize the Internet, enabling a
>host of content-delivery applications like this. Cable TV companies
>upgraded their infrastructures with the expectation of video-on-demand and
>interactive TV, but the killer apps never materialized; now all they do
>with it is provide cable modem service and additional digital TV channels,
>and they're losing money as a result.
>
>The track record of futurists has been pretty poor for a long time -- where
>are all the flying cars? We don't have *any* of the technology that "2001:
>A Space Osyssey" predicted -- even picturephones, which should have been
>easy (compared to space colonization), are still just a curiosity rather
>than everyday appliances.

Most futurists (and everyone else) have a very difficult time
distinguishing things that scale from things that don't. Especially when
the scaling effects are nonlinear (as with picturephones or AI winter).
And, of course, some things come true without having the effects that
people thought they would have (we all have Dick Tracy's wrist radio, but
it hasn't really changed the world, nor has the replacement of millions
of jobs by automation led to increased leisure...)

And, as broadband companies or Doug Lenat found, even a relatively
small error (less than a factor of 2) in estimating adoption rate can
really mess up your business plan.

James A. Crippen

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Jun 11, 2002, 10:06:35 PM6/11/02
to
Paul Wallich <p...@panix.com> writes:

> Most futurists (and everyone else) have a very difficult time
> distinguishing things that scale from things that don't.

Most futurists don't have any more reason to be listened to than
science fiction authors. And most SF authors do actual research for
what they write, whereas futurists tend to just spew crud off the top
of their heads, much like usenet posters.

Usenet is free*. Wired costs money. I'd rather read usenet.

* Or at least, it's free in the sense that access to it is a side
effect of something else that I pay for.

> Especially when the scaling effects are nonlinear (as with
> picturephones or AI winter). And, of course, some things come true
> without having the effects that people thought they would have (we
> all have Dick Tracy's wrist radio, but it hasn't really changed the
> world, nor has the replacement of millions of jobs by automation led
> to increased leisure...)

Indeed, there's more jobs now *because* of automation than what
automation replaced. It takes maybe *two* people to watch the
machines that do the task one persone used to do alone. And the
machines are so complex now that they need another one or two people
to fix them when they break. But machines don't complain about work
environments and don't ask for raises, and most importantly don't form
labor unions.

> And, as broadband companies or Doug Lenat found, even a relatively
> small error (less than a factor of 2) in estimating adoption rate can
> really mess up your business plan.

I think the *real* reason why much of what was predicted has not come
to pass is because in this consumerism and capitalism based society it
takes both money, advertising clout, and investment capital to make
any new invention successful. The days of the lone independent
inventor are numbered. Even though the capability of human
comprehension has improved with increased levels of education the idea
persists that one person can't possibly understand any field well
enough to invent something revolutionary. So most people go around
with the idea that it takes a committee backed by a large corporation
or institution (government, academic, industrial, etc) to make new
things. Of course, committees don't usually get much done. Look at
Common Lisp, that's a great committee example...

The human race will decree from time to time: "There is something at
which it is absolutely forbidden to laugh."
-- Nietzche on Common Lisp

'james

--
James A. Crippen <ja...@unlambda.com> ,-./-. Anchorage, Alaska,
Lambda Unlimited: Recursion 'R' Us | |/ | USA, 61.20939N, -149.767W
Y = \f.(\x.f(xx)) (\x.f(xx)) | |\ | Earth, Sol System,
Y(F) = F(Y(F)) \_,-_/ Milky Way.

Paul F. Dietz

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Jun 11, 2002, 10:12:03 PM6/11/02
to
"James A. Crippen" wrote:

> Most futurists don't have any more reason to be listened to than
> science fiction authors. And most SF authors do actual research for
> what they write, whereas futurists tend to just spew crud off the top
> of their heads, much like usenet posters.

Most SF authors are trying to *entertain*. If they accurately
predict the future it is only by accident.

Paul

Dvd Avins

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Jun 11, 2002, 10:28:24 PM6/11/02
to

"[F]uturists", unlike SF authors, make their living talking by making
predictions.


-- Attaining and helping others attain "Aha!" experiences, as satisfying as
attaining and helping others attain orgasms.

Clark Wilson

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Jun 11, 2002, 11:17:37 PM6/11/02
to
In article <3D064E2A...@markwatson.com>, ma...@markwatson.com
says...

> The July issue of WiRED Magazine has a cool two page spread on the
> history of programming languages.
>
> The only problem: they have Lisp and Smalltalk
> listed as "endangered species" :-(
>

When I first looked at the chart (and it is cool) I thought that also.
But I think that the symbols for Lisp are orange, not red.

Green is "Active: thousands of users"
Orange is "Protected: taught at universities, compilers available"
Red is "Endangered: usage dropping off"

So my reading of the three entries on the Lisp branch (in chronological
order) was:

Lisp -- protected
Common Lisp -- active
ANSI Common Lisp -- protected

Clark Wilson
eternal Lisp newbie

Christopher Browne

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Jun 12, 2002, 12:03:53 AM6/12/02
to
In the last exciting episode, Barry Margolin <bar...@genuity.net> wrote::

> In article <none-11060...@129.59.212.53>, sv0f <no...@none.org> wrote:
>>I recently inherited a stack of Wireds from the late 1990s.
>>
>>It's absolutely hilarious to read their pompous predictions
>>about a future that we know has not come to be.
>>
>>(Example from the 10/97 issue I scanned yesterday: By 2000, all
>>video will be streamed via the internet, traditional television and
>>cable companies will be defunct, RealNetworks will be your one-stop
>>media superstore, and the only real question is whether they will
>>still be an independent company (worth $100,000,000,000) or part of
>>Microsoft.)
>>
>>Given their track record, I'm actually uplifted by this news!
>
> To their credit, they were hardly the only ones predicting this. By
> many accounts, broadband was supposed to revolutionize the Internet,
> enabling a host of content-delivery applications like this. Cable
> TV companies upgraded their infrastructures with the expectation of
> video-on-demand and interactive TV, but the killer apps never
> materialized; now all they do with it is provide cable modem service
> and additional digital TV channels, and they're losing money as a
> result.

It seemed obvious to me that this was _preposterous_ because the sort
of point-to-point services being proposed needed spectacular amounts
of bandwidth going across quite long distances.

"Video on demand" requires a STAGGERING lot of bandwidth, and the
notion that the infrastructure could be paid for on the basis of not
needing to go to Blockbuster for videos was really flimsy. It's NOT
going to get paid for out of people redirecting $5/week they might
spend on videos to network infrastructure.

Of course, there is an obvious alternative route...

"If you can figure out an application of your idea to porn, you've got
it made." -- Peter da Silva

"Has anyone ever thought about the fact that in general, the only web
sites that are consistently making money are the ones dealing in
pornography? This brings new meaning to the term, "obscene
profits". :)" -- Paul Robinson <postm...@paul.washington.dc.us>

The commercial viability of VCRs was assured by the ability that it
provided to vitalize the pornography industry. Rather than the risks
of going, trenchcoated, to the local porn theatre, perverts could pay
considerably more, but attain the benefit of viewing smut in the
relative safety and comfort of their own homes. That resulted in
enough cash flow to get volumes high enough for prices to fall to the
point where VCRs became attractive for the "legitimate" movie
industry.

> The track record of futurists has been pretty poor for a long time
> -- where are all the flying cars? We don't have *any* of the
> technology that "2001: A Space Osyssey" predicted -- even
> picturephones, which should have been easy (compared to space
> colonization), are still just a curiosity rather than everyday
> appliances.

I was very disappointed with the movie _Puppet Masters_; one of the
major things it _lost_ in the translation from Heinlein to film was
the flying cars.

Picturephones are technically easy; they're commercially unacceptable
because they expose peoples' ugly mugs to the world from home. If
picturephones became popular, so also would men's makeup kits. (I'm
deadly serious on this...)
--
(concatenate 'string "aa454" "@freenet.carleton.ca")
http://www.cbbrowne.com/info/linuxdistributions.html
"In view of all the deadly computer viruses that have been spreading
lately, Weekend Update would like to remind you: when you link up to
another computer, you're linking up to every computer that that
computer has ever linked up to." -- Dennis Miller, SNL Weekend Update

Christopher C. Stacy

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Jun 12, 2002, 12:49:34 AM6/12/02
to
Where are the flying cars? There were supposed to be flying cars?

Well, maybe: a screen saver that has flying cons cells instead of toasters, anyone?

Andy

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Jun 12, 2002, 1:26:10 AM6/12/02
to
cst...@grant.org (Christopher C. Stacy) enlightened us with
news:usn3t5...@grant.org:

> Where are the flying cars? There were supposed to be flying
> cars?

You didn't get the memo ?

Kenny Tilton

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Jun 12, 2002, 3:02:49 AM6/12/02
to

"Christopher C. Stacy" wrote:
>
> Where are the flying cars? There were supposed to be flying cars?

Yes. And moving sidewalks. John Prine did some good work in this area.

In a way the predictions have all come true, except the win has been in
the transportation of information (the Web), not people. Back then when
those Jetson predictions were being made, folks were limited by their
idea of the forms progress could take. The astonishing things of the day
were jet airplanes and rocketships and even the automobile was making
rapid advances; predictions blindly got stamped in the same coin of
personal transportation.

Espen Vestre

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Jun 12, 2002, 3:41:10 AM6/12/02
to
no...@none.org (sv0f) writes:

> (Example from the 10/97 issue I scanned yesterday: By 2000,
> all video will be streamed via the internet, traditional
> television and cable companies will be defunct, RealNetworks
> will be your one-stop media superstore, and the only real
> question is whether they will still be an independent company
> (worth $100,000,000,000) or part of Microsoft.)

We would have been a good deal closer to broadband nirvana if people
hadn't started believing in these acid trip fantasies about the
laws of economy suddenly being turned upside down. :-(
--
(espen)

Paul Foley

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Jun 12, 2002, 7:09:16 AM6/12/02
to
On Wed, 12 Jun 2002 07:02:49 GMT, Kenny Tilton wrote:

> "Christopher C. Stacy" wrote:
>>
>> Where are the flying cars? There were supposed to be flying cars?

> Yes. And moving sidewalks. John Prine did some good work in this area.

I guess there are flying cars -- the car (as in cons, not vehicle)
reference appears to have flown over your head :-)

--
Oh dear god. In case you weren't aware, "ad hominem" is not latin for
"the user of this technique is a fine debater."
-- Thomas F. Burdick
(setq reply-to
(concatenate 'string "Paul Foley " "<mycroft" '(#\@) "actrix.gen.nz>"))

Chris Harrington

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Jun 12, 2002, 8:20:15 AM6/12/02
to
Well it may not be authoritative but many people look to the mag as a source
of current info. It just takes a couple of coorporate "IT" managers to read
this sort of dribble and move on from Smalltalk or Lisp...maybe .NET...all
the hype says it will be huge!

Chris

"Craig Brozefsky" <cr...@red-bean.com> wrote in message
news:7usn3tm...@piracy.red-bean.com...

Ed L Cashin

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Jun 12, 2002, 9:39:30 AM6/12/02
to
Clark Wilson <wils...@hotmail.com> writes:

...


> So my reading of the three entries on the Lisp branch (in chronological
> order) was:
>
> Lisp -- protected
> Common Lisp -- active
> ANSI Common Lisp -- protected

I wonder what they meant by "Common Lisp" as distinct from "ANSI
Common Lisp". The only thing I can think of would be pre-ANSI CL
implementations ... isn't gcl one of those?

In that case, it would be weird to say that the old versions are
active and the current ones are just protected.

--
--Ed L Cashin | PGP public key:
eca...@uga.edu | http://noserose.net/e/pgp/

Clark Wilson

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Jun 12, 2002, 10:26:55 AM6/12/02
to
In article <877kl43...@cs.uga.edu>, eca...@uga.edu says...
> ...

>
> I wonder what they meant by "Common Lisp" as distinct from "ANSI
> Common Lisp". The only thing I can think of would be pre-ANSI CL
> implementations ... isn't gcl one of those?
>
> In that case, it would be weird to say that the old versions are
> active and the current ones are just protected.
>

I forgot to mention that CLOS is also listed as green -- i.e., "Active:
thousands of users". It has its own little side branch from the Lisp
branch.

chw

Barry Margolin

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Jun 12, 2002, 10:27:24 AM6/12/02
to
In article <MPG.17707948...@news.teranews.com>,

Clark Wilson <wils...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>Green is "Active: thousands of users"
>Orange is "Protected: taught at universities, compilers available"
>Red is "Endangered: usage dropping off"
>
>So my reading of the three entries on the Lisp branch (in chronological
>order) was:
>
>Lisp -- protected
>Common Lisp -- active
>ANSI Common Lisp -- protected

Well, I'd think that Lisp should be closer to Green, because of Emacs Lisp
and AutoLisp.

Barry Margolin

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Jun 12, 2002, 10:32:23 AM6/12/02
to
In article <MPG.17711628a...@news.teranews.com>,

Clark Wilson <wils...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>I forgot to mention that CLOS is also listed as green -- i.e., "Active:
>thousands of users". It has its own little side branch from the Lisp
>branch.

So who are these thousands of people using CLOS without using Common Lisp?
Sounds like a neat trick.

I think that inconsistency really destroys the credibility of the research.
Unless by Common Lisp they mean "Using CL but avoiding the CLOS features".

Clark Wilson

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Jun 12, 2002, 11:02:21 AM6/12/02
to
In article <MPG.17707948...@news.teranews.com>, wilsonch0
@hotmail.com says...

> In article <3D064E2A...@markwatson.com>, ma...@markwatson.com
> says...
> > The July issue of WiRED Magazine has a cool two page spread on the
> > history of programming languages.
> >
> > The only problem: they have Lisp and Smalltalk
> > listed as "endangered species" :-(
> >
>
> When I first looked at the chart (and it is cool) I thought that also.
> But I think that the symbols for Lisp are orange, not red.
>
> ...

I failed to notice the text at the top of the page. The obscure takes
me a little while to notice, the obvious I notice much later. :-)

The blurb says, in part: "Among the most endangered are Ada, APL, B
(the predecessor of C), Lisp, Oberon, Smalltalk, and Simula."

I dunno.

Here are the sources listed at the bottom of the two-page spread:

Paul Boutin
Brent Hailpern, associate director of computer science at IBM Research
The Retrocomputing Museum
Todd Proebsting, senior researcher at Microsoft
Gio Wiederhold, computer scientist, Stanford University.

chw

Christopher C. Stacy

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Jun 12, 2002, 1:29:06 PM6/12/02
to
>>>>> On Wed, 12 Jun 2002 10:02:21 -0500, Clark Wilson ("Clark") writes:
Clark> The blurb says, in part: "Among the most endangered are Ada, APL, B
Clark> (the predecessor of C), Lisp, Oberon, Smalltalk, and Simula."

I see at least as many job ads for APL programmers (and then some
more if you count the modern APL descendants) as for Common Lisp.

Julian Stecklina

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Jun 12, 2002, 1:36:52 PM6/12/02
to
Kenny Tilton <kti...@nyc.rr.com> writes:

> Mark Watson wrote:
> >
> > The July issue of WiRED Magazine has a cool two page spread on the
> > history of programming languages.
> >
> > The only problem: they have Lisp and Smalltalk
> > listed as "endangered species" :-(
>
> Hey, we're just happy to be remembered! Now let's see who goes to whose
> funeral, Lisp or Wired.


Are there any languages that really died? Most of them have evolved into
something new or do I just not know what languages existed before I
was born? :)

Regards,
Julian
--
Meine Hompage: http://julian.re6.de

Ich suche eine PCMCIA v1.x type I/II/III Netzwerkkarte.
Ich biete als Tauschobjekt eine v2 100MBit Karte in OVP.

Julian Stecklina

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Jun 12, 2002, 1:45:12 PM6/12/02
to
Paul Wallich <p...@panix.com> writes:


[...]

> >The track record of futurists has been pretty poor for a long time -- where
> >are all the flying cars? We don't have *any* of the technology that "2001:
> >A Space Osyssey" predicted -- even picturephones, which should have been
> >easy (compared to space colonization), are still just a curiosity rather
> >than everyday appliances.


Do you remember the Wrath of Khan or the corresponding Star Trek
episode? They said in 1999 a bunch of genetic-engineered supermen were
sent hibernating into deep space. Seems that nobody is perfect in
predicting the future. :)

Gisle Sælensminde

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Jun 12, 2002, 2:07:51 PM6/12/02
to
In article <MPG.17711e1bd...@news.teranews.com>, Clark Wilson wrote:
> In article <MPG.17707948...@news.teranews.com>, wilsonch0
> @hotmail.com says...
>> In article <3D064E2A...@markwatson.com>, ma...@markwatson.com
>> says...
>> > The July issue of WiRED Magazine has a cool two page spread on the
>> > history of programming languages.
>> >
>> > The only problem: they have Lisp and Smalltalk
>> > listed as "endangered species" :-(
>> >
>>
>> When I first looked at the chart (and it is cool) I thought that also.
>> But I think that the symbols for Lisp are orange, not red.
>>
>> ...
>
> I failed to notice the text at the top of the page. The obscure takes
> me a little while to notice, the obvious I notice much later. :-)
>
> The blurb says, in part: "Among the most endangered are Ada, APL, B
> (the predecessor of C), Lisp, Oberon, Smalltalk, and Simula."

Ada is certainly not dead (or near dead). There are several companies
making compilers, and they seem to have a sufficient customer base to
keep it going. The language is still big in some niche sectors like
safeity-critical, embedded software. Now when the C++ hype seems to be
over, the pressure to "rewrite to a more modern language like C++" is
less than it used to be. The number of postings on comp.lang.ada is
of the same magnitude as this group.

Simula (my first language at university), is near dead. As far as
I know no universities teach it any longer. One of the reasons
was that the compiler we used (Lund simula), was no longer
maintained it or ported it to new architechtures. They then
switched to java(this was in 1996). There is still a Simula user
group (ASU, The Association of SIMULA Users), that holds annual
conferences, so the language is not completly dead.

There was a discussion on comp.lang.ada once, where someone tried
to find a language that actually was dead, and in all cases
some other poster managed to find some examples of actual systems
that still used the langauge. Maybe B is dead?

--
Gisle Sælensminde ( gi...@ii.uib.no )

With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However, this is not
necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are going
to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly
overhead. (from RFC 1925)

Paul Wallich

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Jun 12, 2002, 2:08:27 PM6/12/02
to
In article <87n0u0x...@blitz.comp.com>,
Julian Stecklina <der_j...@web.de> wrote:

>Paul Wallich <p...@panix.com> writes:
>
>
>[...]
>
>> >The track record of futurists has been pretty poor for a long time -- where
>> >are all the flying cars? We don't have *any* of the technology that "2001:
>> >A Space Osyssey" predicted -- even picturephones, which should have been
>> >easy (compared to space colonization), are still just a curiosity rather
>> >than everyday appliances.
>
>
>Do you remember the Wrath of Khan or the corresponding Star Trek
>episode? They said in 1999 a bunch of genetic-engineered supermen were
>sent hibernating into deep space. Seems that nobody is perfect in
>predicting the future. :)

Just for the record, I didn't write a single word of that. I don't
necessarily disagree with it, but the apparent attribution is wrong.

paul

Christopher Browne

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Jun 12, 2002, 2:55:57 PM6/12/02
to
In the last exciting episode, Gisle Sælensminde <gi...@apal.ii.uib.no> wrote::

> In article <MPG.17711e1bd...@news.teranews.com>, Clark Wilson wrote:
>> In article <MPG.17707948...@news.teranews.com>, wilsonch0
>> @hotmail.com says...
>>> In article <3D064E2A...@markwatson.com>, ma...@markwatson.com
>>> says...
>>> > The July issue of WiRED Magazine has a cool two page spread on the
>>> > history of programming languages.
>>> >
>>> > The only problem: they have Lisp and Smalltalk
>>> > listed as "endangered species" :-(
>>> >
>>>
>>> When I first looked at the chart (and it is cool) I thought that also.
>>> But I think that the symbols for Lisp are orange, not red.
>>>
>>> ...
>>
>> I failed to notice the text at the top of the page. The obscure takes
>> me a little while to notice, the obvious I notice much later. :-)
>>
>> The blurb says, in part: "Among the most endangered are Ada, APL, B
>> (the predecessor of C), Lisp, Oberon, Smalltalk, and Simula."
>
> Ada is certainly not dead (or near dead). There are several companies
> making compilers, and they seem to have a sufficient customer base to
> keep it going. The language is still big in some niche sectors like
> safeity-critical, embedded software. Now when the C++ hype seems to be
> over, the pressure to "rewrite to a more modern language like C++" is
> less than it used to be. The number of postings on comp.lang.ada is
> of the same magnitude as this group.

There seems to be a fair bit of Ada activity these days.

There's <http://www.redrocketconsortium.com/zbc/> building a small
"ERP" system atop Ada.

SourceForge has 45 Ada-based projects; compare with 187 Lisp projects
and 110 Scheme projects.

That's hardly a "rigorous" standard, but if you wanted to look at the
details, I think you'd find that some portion of those projects _are_
fairly active.

People are assortedly keeping CORBA and GTK interfaces to GNU Ada
reasonably up to date, which is a pretty positive sign that _someone_
cares about this.

> Simula (my first language at university), is near dead. As far as I
> know no universities teach it any longer. One of the reasons was
> that the compiler we used (Lund simula), was no longer maintained it
> or ported it to new architechtures. They then switched to java(this
> was in 1996). There is still a Simula user group (ASU, The
> Association of SIMULA Users), that holds annual conferences, so the
> language is not completly dead.

> There was a discussion on comp.lang.ada once, where someone tried to
> find a language that actually was dead, and in all cases some other
> poster managed to find some examples of actual systems that still
> used the langauge. Maybe B is dead?

Maclisp is probably effectively pretty dead, as despite there being
emulator environments, there aren't active "native" environments for
it.

Icon is probably marginally more "alive" than Simula. Modula-3 and
Eiffel are both in there somewhere, probably of similar interest to
Ada. (It's somewhat too bad that all three have stayed viable; it
would likely be a better thing if some "folding together" could allow
combining some of their communities to build a bigger community of
support...)


--
(concatenate 'string "aa454" "@freenet.carleton.ca")

http://www3.sympatico.ca/cbbrowne/languages.html
Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?

Costas

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 4:38:03 PM6/12/02
to
On 12 Jun 2002 19:36:52 +0200, Julian Stecklina <der_j...@web.de>
wrote:

>Kenny Tilton <kti...@nyc.rr.com> writes:
>
>> Mark Watson wrote:
>> >
>> > The July issue of WiRED Magazine has a cool two page spread on the
>> > history of programming languages.
>> >
>> > The only problem: they have Lisp and Smalltalk
>> > listed as "endangered species" :-(
>>
>> Hey, we're just happy to be remembered! Now let's see who goes to whose
>> funeral, Lisp or Wired.
>
>
>Are there any languages that really died? Most of them have evolved into
>something new or do I just not know what languages existed before I
>was born? :)

Snobol has not evolved although its author Ralph Griswold created
another language called Icon using some concepts of pattern matching.
Now it looks like Icon is dead.

The Wired article names some IBM sources. I am surprised that they
think Smalltalk will become extinct. Maybe they meant Visual Age
Smalltalk.

Dvd Avins

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 4:56:44 PM6/12/02
to
In article <3d07adfd...@News.CIS.DFN.DE>, cos...@nospam.com (Costas)
writes:

>Now it looks like Icon is dead.

I have one friend who still uses Icon as his language of choice. IIRC Python
and Ruby are what he says he'd use if Icon wasn't around.

Christopher Browne

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 5:22:54 PM6/12/02
to
dvda...@aol.comNOSPAM (Dvd Avins) wrote:
> In article <3d07adfd...@News.CIS.DFN.DE>, cos...@nospam.com (Costas)
> writes:
>
>>Now it looks like Icon is dead.
>
> I have one friend who still uses Icon as his language of choice. IIRC Python
> and Ruby are what he says he'd use if Icon wasn't around.

The (quarterly? annual?) Icon newsletter is now dead.

Icon is still pretty nice.
--
(reverse (concatenate 'string "gro.gultn@" "enworbbc"))
http://www.cbbrowne.com/info/sap.html
"Linux is not ready for the Enterprise. There is not a single
voice-controlled app for any of the mission critical functions of the
Enterprise. Conspicuously absent are warp core control, phaser bank
activation, interstellar navigation, transporter operation, and the
all-important self-destruct sequence. Until these and thousands of
other important apps are written and deployed, Linux will just be a
toy in the Enterprise." -- Kevin Novak, Network Computing Magazine

Bijan Parsia

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 6:56:51 PM6/12/02
to
On Wed, 12 Jun 2002, Costas wrote:
[snip]

> The Wired article names some IBM sources. I am surprised that they
> think Smalltalk will become extinct. Maybe they meant Visual Age
> Smalltalk.

I'm given to understand that different parts of IBM think very
differently. And that it's pretty standard for several of those parts to
totally diss Visual Age Smalltalk (VAST). However, it seems to be doing
*very* well with a fairly recently release major update (to 6), which, for
the first time I know if, is available in and easily downloaded trial
edition. Cool! I'll have to try it out.

Cheers,
Bijan Parsia.

sv0f

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 6:50:27 PM6/12/02
to
In article <3D06F40C...@nyc.rr.com>, Kenny Tilton
<kti...@nyc.rr.com> wrote:

>"Christopher C. Stacy" wrote:
>>
>> Where are the flying cars? There were supposed to be flying cars?
>
>Yes. And moving sidewalks. John Prine did some good work in this area.

And I thought he was just a musician
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-form/103-8946311-2717467).

Frank A. Adrian

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 11:40:09 PM6/12/02
to
Barry Margolin wrote:

> where
> are all the flying cars?

Where are the flying cars?!?! Look at this link for an explaination of why
we have no flying cars!

http://www.viewaskew.com/tv/leno/flyingcar.html


faa

P.S. Lovers of Kevin Smith films will already know why...

Martin Pomije

unread,
Jun 13, 2002, 1:23:57 AM6/13/02
to
Mark Watson <ma...@markwatson.com> wrote in message news:<3D064E2A...@markwatson.com>...

> The July issue of WiRED Magazine has a cool two page spread on the
> history of programming languages.
>
> The only problem: they have Lisp and Smalltalk
> listed as "endangered species" :-(
>
> -Mark
>
> -- Mark Watson, author and Java consultant
> -- www.markwatson.com - Open Source and Open Content
> -- www.knowledgebooks.com - Commercial artificial intelligence software

This is a good time to have a laugh at WiReD's expense.

I hope that you aren't using the web, because its already
been replaced... by Pointcast!
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/5.03/ff_push_pr.html

James A. Crippen

unread,
Jun 13, 2002, 2:36:00 AM6/13/02
to
Barry Margolin <bar...@genuity.net> writes:

> In article <MPG.17711628a...@news.teranews.com>,
> Clark Wilson <wils...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >I forgot to mention that CLOS is also listed as green -- i.e., "Active:
> >thousands of users". It has its own little side branch from the Lisp
> >branch.
>
> So who are these thousands of people using CLOS without using Common Lisp?
> Sounds like a neat trick.
>
> I think that inconsistency really destroys the credibility of the research.
> Unless by Common Lisp they mean "Using CL but avoiding the CLOS features".

In most CL implementations nowadays you *can't* do that. Whether you
want to or not your DEFSTRUCTs and DEFTYPEs are being stuffed into the
Grand Unified Class Hierarchy somewhere.

Syntax:
slot-value /object/ /slot-name/ => /value/

Gee SLOT-VALUE only works on objects. Must be a CLOS function.
But...

(defstruct foo (slot-a t) (tab-b nil))
(setf bar (make-foo))
(slot-value bar 'tab-b) => NIL

Well how about that! A structure is an object. Who'da thunk it? So
no, you can't escape CLOS anymore. It's there whether you want it or
not. Sounds to me like they had no fscking clue what they were
talking about and got their information from the Yahoo!(R)
Directory(TM) or something. "Oh look, there's the section Lisp and
underneath it there's this thing called CLOS. Hmm. Let's assume
there's a hundred users for each web page they list..."

I must be l33t. I was just offered a subscription to Wired for
PROFESSIONALS at only $10 a year. For that kind of money I'd rather
buy a few bottles of Spaten Optimator and get drunk instead.

'james

--
James A. Crippen <ja...@unlambda.com> ,-./-. Anchorage, Alaska,
Lambda Unlimited: Recursion 'R' Us | |/ | USA, 61.20939N, -149.767W
Y = \f.(\x.f(xx)) (\x.f(xx)) | |\ | Earth, Sol System,
Y(F) = F(Y(F)) \_,-_/ Milky Way.

James A. Crippen

unread,
Jun 13, 2002, 2:50:46 AM6/13/02
to
Clark Wilson <wils...@hotmail.com> writes:

> In article <MPG.17707948...@news.teranews.com>, wilsonch0
> @hotmail.com says...
>

> The blurb says, in part: "Among the most endangered are Ada, APL, B
> (the predecessor of C), Lisp, Oberon, Smalltalk, and Simula."

Smalltalk and Lisp are endangered? Uhh... Just because *you*
(rhetorical You, I mean) haven't used the language in twenty years
doesn't mean it's dead.

PL/I should be listed as endangered if not dead. And BLISS (now that
VMS is mostly in C). And what about REXX? That's moribund now that
OS/2 has lost favor. BASIC sounds pretty endangered -- I'd bet that
your average computer nerd kid nowadays wouldn't know real BASIC if
they were confronted with it. Not so sure about Ada, I'm sure there's
probably lots of crusty green-painted DoD hardware running it still.
What about RPG? Or JCL?

But Lisp and Smalltalk? Hardly. Smalltalk was on the decline but
when Squeak came out the Balloon got a big breath of fresh air.
There's plenty of people playing with it nowadays.

> I dunno.
>
> Here are the sources listed at the bottom of the two-page spread:
>
> Paul Boutin
> Brent Hailpern, associate director of computer science at IBM Research
> The Retrocomputing Museum
> Todd Proebsting, senior researcher at Microsoft
> Gio Wiederhold, computer scientist, Stanford University.

What kind of credentials does Paul Boutin hold? Why is he the only
one without an affiliation?

What I really wonder is if any of these people are involved in
compilers, formal language theory, or if they're in the ACM SIGPLAN.
Probably not. They're probably involved in OO Programming Patterns or
database theory. Unqualified to know about programming language use.

Actually, I'd really be interested in serious research done on what
programming languages are in use in what fields, and what kinds of
user bases they have. Accurate research. Something that SIGPLAN
would host a talk for at their next conference. Anyone have pointers?

James A. Crippen

unread,
Jun 13, 2002, 3:16:51 AM6/13/02
to
Julian Stecklina <der_j...@web.de> writes:

> Kenny Tilton <kti...@nyc.rr.com> writes:
>
> > Mark Watson wrote:
> > >
> > > The July issue of WiRED Magazine has a cool two page spread on the
> > > history of programming languages.
> > >
> > > The only problem: they have Lisp and Smalltalk
> > > listed as "endangered species" :-(
> >
> > Hey, we're just happy to be remembered! Now let's see who goes to whose
> > funeral, Lisp or Wired.
>
>
> Are there any languages that really died? Most of them have evolved into
> something new or do I just not know what languages existed before I
> was born? :)

There are plenty. But most people never heard much about them in the
first place. Lots of people invent toy languages every year, but most
of them never make it beyond a user base of one or two people.

As for Real Languages that had actual user communities, there are
plenty that have actually died, even in 'recent' history (ie, since
the mid-70s). Consider BLISS. BLISS was extremely popular in the
PDP-10 and VAX crowds outside of academia. It was almost poised to
become the language monopoly that C turned into. It was well ported
amongst DEC hardware, which was most of what was on the net at the
time. VMS was written in an admixture of BLISS and Pascal. I don't
think *anyone* uses BLISS anymore unless they're into retrocomputing
or are trying to keep a wheezing old machine running. (BLISS... All
those dots!)

BCPL, the predecessor to B (which was basically a completely untyped
version of C), is quite certainly dead. BCPL I don't think ever
gained a really large mindshare, but it was certainly actively used
for a while. BCPL is quite certainly dead nowadays.

PL/I was the Ada of the 70s, the C++ of the 70s. PL/I was *the*
programming language that tried to be all things to all people. It
had everything, even Lisp-style list processing (but not the syntax).
It's actually a halfway decent language if you give it a chance. As
good as C anyway, maybe better in some ways. But it died. And I
don't think it even left much in the way of successors, either.

If you go back to the Stone Age you'll find lots of weird old
languages that died horribly when minicomputers came along. If you
wanna see a *huge* list of languages, both dead and alive, see
http://wuarchive.wustl.edu/doc/misc/lang-list.txt
I don't know if this list is still being maintained. It ought to be,
it's a valuable resource.

Dvd Avins

unread,
Jun 13, 2002, 4:47:43 AM6/13/02
to
In article <m3elfbb...@kappa.unlambda.com>, ja...@unlambda.com (James A.
Crippen) writes:

>And what about REXX? That's moribund now that
>OS/2 has lost favor. BASIC sounds pretty endangered -- I'd bet that
>your average computer nerd kid nowadays wouldn't know real BASIC if
>they were confronted with it.

I believe Replic-Action still uses REXX for users who want to get into its
guts. And are VB and LotusScript not dialects of BASIC while CL is a dialect of
early Lisp?

Chris Beggy

unread,
Jun 13, 2002, 10:12:51 AM6/13/02
to
use...@MartinPomije.eiomail.com (Martin Pomije) writes:

> Mark Watson <ma...@markwatson.com> wrote in message news:<3D064E2A...@markwatson.com>...
>> The July issue of WiRED Magazine has a cool two page spread on the
>> history of programming languages.
>>
>> The only problem: they have Lisp and Smalltalk
>> listed as "endangered species" :-(
>>
>> -Mark
>

> This is a good time to have a laugh at WiReD's expense.
>
> I hope that you aren't using the web, because its already
> been replaced... by Pointcast!
> http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/5.03/ff_push_pr.html

LOL! Those were the days!

Chris

Lieven Marchand

unread,
Jun 13, 2002, 3:31:47 PM6/13/02
to
ja...@unlambda.com (James A. Crippen) writes:

> Julian Stecklina <der_j...@web.de> writes:
>
> > Kenny Tilton <kti...@nyc.rr.com> writes:
> >
> > > Mark Watson wrote:
> > > >
> > > > The July issue of WiRED Magazine has a cool two page spread on the
> > > > history of programming languages.
> > > >
> > > > The only problem: they have Lisp and Smalltalk
> > > > listed as "endangered species" :-(
> > >
> > > Hey, we're just happy to be remembered! Now let's see who goes to whose
> > > funeral, Lisp or Wired.
> >
> >
> > Are there any languages that really died? Most of them have evolved into
> > something new or do I just not know what languages existed before I
> > was born? :)

The crux of this discussion is going to be what you consider
"dead". Language use, or at least the common awareness of language
popularity, seems always to have been governed by something like
Zipf's law. A few languages, typically two or three, take up most of
the mind share, and all the rest doesn't register much.

> BCPL, the predecessor to B (which was basically a completely untyped
> version of C), is quite certainly dead. BCPL I don't think ever
> gained a really large mindshare, but it was certainly actively used
> for a while. BCPL is quite certainly dead nowadays.

At http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/users/mr/BCPL.html, you can find a new
multiplatform implementation.

> PL/I was the Ada of the 70s, the C++ of the 70s. PL/I was *the*
> programming language that tried to be all things to all people. It
> had everything, even Lisp-style list processing (but not the syntax).
> It's actually a halfway decent language if you give it a chance. As
> good as C anyway, maybe better in some ways. But it died. And I
> don't think it even left much in the way of successors, either.

I know of an active PL/I consultant who makes a good living out of
keeping some legacy stuff on IBM dinosaurs running. I also know of
openings for Jovial jobs. I think the same phenomenom that makes CL
jobs hard to find on job sites also plays in these cases.

--
Bored, now.
Lieven Marchand <m...@wyrd.be>

Jason Kantz

unread,
Jun 13, 2002, 8:44:20 PM6/13/02
to
Barry Margolin <bar...@genuity.net> writes:
| The track record of futurists has been pretty poor for a long time -- where
| are all the flying cars? We don't have *any* of the technology that "2001:
| A Space Osyssey" predicted -- even picturephones, which should have been
| easy (compared to space colonization), are still just a curiosity rather
| than everyday appliances.

I went to a talk by Robert Lucky, who was an engineer at Bell Labs way
back when. He said they had some people do an analysis of the market
for picture phones to predict how they would sell.

The prediction was that sales would start off real slow and then take
off. So AT&T started selling picture phones and sales started off
real slow ... and then ...

well, the prediction was half right.

Jason Kantz

unread,
Jun 13, 2002, 8:44:29 PM6/13/02
to

Keith Ray

unread,
Jun 13, 2002, 11:23:50 PM6/13/02
to
In article <87n0u0x...@blitz.comp.com>,
Julian Stecklina <der_j...@web.de> wrote:

> Paul Wallich <p...@panix.com> writes:
>
>
> [...]
>
> > >The track record of futurists has been pretty poor for a long time -- where
> > >are all the flying cars? We don't have *any* of the technology that "2001:
> > >A Space Osyssey" predicted -- even picturephones, which should have been
> > >easy (compared to space colonization), are still just a curiosity rather
> > >than everyday appliances.
>
>
> Do you remember the Wrath of Khan or the corresponding Star Trek
> episode? They said in 1999 a bunch of genetic-engineered supermen were
> sent hibernating into deep space. Seems that nobody is perfect in
> predicting the future. :)

According to (fiction) books by Greg Cox, it did happen, but it was a
secret. Check it out. Better than the average Star Trek book.
--
C. Keith Ray

<http://homepage.mac.com/keithray/xpminifaq.html>

Mike Smith

unread,
Jun 14, 2002, 12:06:27 AM6/14/02
to

> Where are the flying cars?!?! Look at this link for an explaination of why
> we have no flying cars!
>
> http://www.viewaskew.com/tv/leno/flyingcar.html

Maybe there's still hope. This company didn't get the memo:

http://www.moller.com/skycar/m400/

The only sales price mentioned is a remarkably cheap $9.50...

http://www.moller.com/sales/

;)

--
- Mike Smith
michae...@comcast.net

Dave Pearson

unread,
Jun 14, 2002, 4:02:26 AM6/14/02
to
* Mike Smith <michae...@comcast.net>:

> Maybe there's still hope. This company didn't get the memo:
>
> http://www.moller.com/skycar/m400/
>
> The only sales price mentioned is a remarkably cheap $9.50...
>
> http://www.moller.com/sales/

And <URL:http://www.simaviation.com/fsdmisc%5B8%5D.htm> exists (fifth item
down) if you want to get some practice in while you're saving up for the
more expensive version.

--
Dave Pearson: | lbdb.el - LBDB interface.
http://www.davep.org/ | sawfish.el - Sawfish mode.
Emacs: | uptimes.el - Record emacs uptimes.
http://www.davep.org/emacs/ | quickurl.el - Recall lists of URLs.

Paolo Amoroso

unread,
Jun 14, 2002, 10:59:32 AM6/14/02
to
On 12 Jun 2002 18:07:51 GMT, Gisle Sælensminde <gi...@apal.ii.uib.no>
wrote:

> Ada is certainly not dead (or near dead). There are several companies
> making compilers, and they seem to have a sufficient customer base to
> keep it going. The language is still big in some niche sectors like
> safeity-critical, embedded software. Now when the C++ hype seems to be

An Ada system will help explore some of the most mysterious and fascinating
worlds in the Solar System. The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft will enter an
orbit around Saturn in 2004. A few months later the Huygens probe will land
on Titan, the second largest moon in the Solar System, and the only one
with an atmosphere--and possibly also fluids on its surface. The curiosity
os seeing how the surface of Titan looks like is eating me alive...

95% of the software on board of the Cassini spacecraft is written in Ada.
This is probably one of the most ambitious space missions.


Paolo
--
EncyCMUCLopedia * Extensive collection of CMU Common Lisp documentation
http://www.paoloamoroso.it/ency/README

Will Hartung

unread,
Jun 14, 2002, 8:33:58 PM6/14/02
to

"Clark Wilson" <wils...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:MPG.17707948...@news.teranews.com...
> > The July issue of WiRED Magazine has a cool two page spread on the
> > history of programming languages.
> >
> > The only problem: they have Lisp and Smalltalk
> > listed as "endangered species" :-(
> >
>
> When I first looked at the chart (and it is cool) I thought that also.
> But I think that the symbols for Lisp are orange, not red.

It may be cool, but it has some interesting errors.

I got my issue last night and looked at this thing, there are some comic
references that I saw in it.

Accoring to this thing, Erik has been vindicated. Note that Scheme is not
related to Lisp at all, not even influenced. No little branches from Lisp to
Scheme. Scheme is a descendant of Algol.

Also note that Forth is dead...completely...Black Box. No compilers, no
users. Oh.

On the other hand, Self 4.0 is going gangbusters. More news.

Objective-C didn't have any credit from Smalltalk (the dead and dying
Smalltalk, but don't tell that to the Squeak community). It would be
interesting to see where Obj-C would have been two years ago, before Apple
release OS X.

And I liked one of the reasons they attribute to language staying power: "A
Charismatic Leader -- Perl, Larry Wall".

"You know, Perl sucks hard, but I really like Larry, so..."

Just imagine trying to grok Perl code you wrote the week before, but that
has become indecipherable. Just chant under your breath "Go Larry, Go!".

Not to bash Perl, I just find the attribute amusing...No doubt Larry has an
affect on the Perl community, but I don't believe that's why the language is
as popular as it is.

So, anyway, this chart is a wonder of knowledge and research.

Regards,

Will Hartung
(wi...@msoft.com)

Joel Ray Holveck

unread,
Jun 14, 2002, 8:29:06 PM6/14/02
to
> It may be cool, but it has some interesting errors.

Hence this thread.

> Accoring to this thing, Erik has been vindicated. Note that Scheme is not
> related to Lisp at all, not even influenced. No little branches from Lisp to
> Scheme. Scheme is a descendant of Algol.

Uh-oh. I'm modeling a class I'm teaching on CL after SICP. I'd
better cut that out, quick!

> Also note that Forth is dead...completely...Black Box. No compilers, no
> users. Oh.

Help! WiRED came out and I can't reboot my computer!

> On the other hand, Self 4.0 is going gangbusters. More news.

Self? Never heard of it!

> Objective-C didn't have any credit from Smalltalk (the dead and dying
> Smalltalk, but don't tell that to the Squeak community). It would be
> interesting to see where Obj-C would have been two years ago, before Apple
> release OS X.

Oh, back then it was related to Smalltalk. Just not anymore. :-)

> And I liked one of the reasons they attribute to language staying power: "A
> Charismatic Leader -- Perl, Larry Wall".
> "You know, Perl sucks hard, but I really like Larry, so..."

And how many Perl hackers have actually *met* Larry, let alone spoken
with him? (Larry sometimes tends to avoid fans. Not a bad thing,
just an observation.)

(PS: I like Perl (not as much as Lisp), I like Larry, I'm not bashing
anything but this article. Please don't start a bash session or holy
war off of this.)

> So, anyway, this chart is a wonder of knowledge and research.

You mean, you wonder where the knowledge and research are?

Cheers,
joelh

Kenny Tilton

unread,
Jun 14, 2002, 8:55:08 PM6/14/02
to

Will Hartung wrote:
> Accoring to this thing, Erik has been vindicated. Note that Scheme is not
> related to Lisp at all, not even influenced. No little branches from Lisp to
> Scheme.

Check again, at mid-1972.

--

kenny tilton
clinisys, inc
---------------------------------------------------------------
""Well, I've wrestled with reality for thirty-five years, Doctor,
and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it.""
Elwood P. Dowd

Lyle McKennot

unread,
Jun 15, 2002, 1:06:50 AM6/15/02
to
"Will Hartung" <wi...@msoft.com> wrote:

>Accoring to this thing, Erik has been vindicated.

Thou shall not take The Name in vain.

>Note that Scheme is not
>related to Lisp at all, not even influenced. No little branches from Lisp to
>Scheme. Scheme is a descendant of Algol.

Everything is.
Except Fortan and Lisp.

>Also note that Forth is dead...completely.

Well, any movement you see is just the maggots on the dead corpse.


>And I liked one of the reasons they attribute to language staying power: "A
>Charismatic Leader -- Perl, Larry Wall".

Well, his "state of the onion " lectures are entertaining.

Actually, he is a christian of sorts and might even be one of those
charismatics who speaks in tongues....

James A. Crippen

unread,
Jun 15, 2002, 2:04:15 AM6/15/02
to
Joel Ray Holveck <jo...@juniper.net> writes:

> > Also note that Forth is dead...completely...Black Box. No
> > compilers, no users. Oh.
>
> Help! WiRED came out and I can't reboot my computer!

Well that's what you get for using one of them funny computers that
boots with FORTH (you know, like a Sun, or an Apple, or an IBM
RS/6000, or ...), instead of a *real* computer like an Intel x86 that
boots a 16-bit processor with segmented memory. Can't trust them
damned FORTH based booters -- gimme 16-bit 80286 machine code anyday!
It's *so* much easier to read! And it's not backwards, unless you use
the AT&T assembler...

> > On the other hand, Self 4.0 is going gangbusters. More news.
>
> Self? Never heard of it!

You're just out of the loop. That's what you get for using a
recursive language.

> > Objective-C didn't have any credit from Smalltalk (the dead and dying
> > Smalltalk, but don't tell that to the Squeak community). It would be
> > interesting to see where Obj-C would have been two years ago, before Apple
> > release OS X.
>
> Oh, back then it was related to Smalltalk. Just not anymore. :-)

"In other news, Apple today announced it would rewrite not only the
future, but the past as well. An ad campaign similar to the 1984
Macintosh campaign is currently in the works..."

> (PS: I like Perl (not as much as Lisp), I like Larry, I'm not bashing
> anything but this article. Please don't start a bash session or holy
> war off of this.)

Damn, does this mean I have to kill my running shell then? I guess I
could nohup XEmacs and try to reconnect to it...

> > So, anyway, this chart is a wonder of knowledge and research.
>
> You mean, you wonder where the knowledge and research are?

No, the knowledge and the research put into it are really a wonder....

James A. Crippen

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Jun 15, 2002, 2:09:14 AM6/15/02
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Lyle McKennot <sp...@spam.menot.com> writes:

> >Note that Scheme is not related to Lisp at all, not even
> >influenced. No little branches from Lisp to Scheme. Scheme is a
> >descendant of Algol.
>
> Everything is.
> Except Fortan and Lisp.

And COBOL.

Oh, and JCL too. And APL. Hmm... RPG-IV maybe?

(Truth is there's a large contingent of non-Algol related languages,
but nobody seems to program in them as much anymore. Pascal did too
many language designers in.)

> >Also note that Forth is dead...completely.
>
> Well, any movement you see is just the maggots on the dead corpse.

That just made me yarf. Wow.

> Actually, he is a christian of sorts and might even be one of those
> charismatics who speaks in tongues....

Oh, so *that's* why I can't read Perl? Or were you only referring to
the regular expression pattern matching part?

Lyle McKennot

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Jun 15, 2002, 4:25:15 AM6/15/02
to
ja...@unlambda.com (James A. Crippen) wrote:

>(Truth is there's a large contingent of non-Algol related languages,
>but nobody seems to program in them as much anymore. Pascal did too
>many language designers in.)


They didn't call him Wirth the Assassin for nothing.
His favorite weapon was a sharpened type declaration.

>> Actually, he is a christian of sorts and might even be one of those
>> charismatics who speaks in tongues....
>
>Oh, so *that's* why I can't read Perl?

You need to be "born again" and talk in tongues to be able to Perl
righteously.

John Markus Bjorndalen

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Jun 15, 2002, 5:34:01 AM6/15/02
to
Mike Smith <michae...@comcast.net> writes:

>> Where are the flying cars?!?! Look at this link for an explaination of why
>> we have no flying cars!
>>
>> http://www.viewaskew.com/tv/leno/flyingcar.html
>
> Maybe there's still hope. This company didn't get the memo:
>
> http://www.moller.com/skycar/m400/

When I visited these guys in 87 they pointed at two problems that I
remember off the top of my head:

a) Engines. They needed highly efficient, low-weight engines.
He showed us some of the engines they were working on and sounded
pretty confident that they were solving this problem. Maybe they
had "good enough" egines even then (I don't remember).

b) Requiring a pilots licence to "drive" them would severly limit
their market.

There's been som talk about collision avoidance systems,
designating "lanes" (or rather altitudes) in the sky for densely
popluated areas etc. I'm not sure how far things have progressed
here.


The first problem is technical and can be solved by engineers. The
problem is just to get the price down enough for "most people" to buy.
Part of getting the price down is making them cheaper to build and
run, but another part is (usually at least ;-)) increasing the market.

And to do that, b) might be something they need to address. Maybe even
by getting a system with cheaper "skycar" pilot licenses.

Apart from that they probably also have some interesting problems if
they want to get the skycar approved both as a vehicle for driving on
the road, and as a flying vehicle that you can land even in densely
populated neighbourhoods (which I believe is not permitted for
ordinary planes, even in the USA).

In other words, I wouldn't be surprised if they actually have the most
challenging problems with regulations, not with the technology. And
regulations take time.


I hope they manage it soon. I've always wanted one of those ;-)

--
// John Markus Bjørndalen

Erik Naggum

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Jun 15, 2002, 6:53:35 AM6/15/02
to
* "Will Hartung" <wi...@msoft.com>

| Accoring to this thing, Erik has been vindicated. Note that Scheme is
| not related to Lisp at all, not even influenced. No little branches from
| Lisp to Scheme. Scheme is a descendant of Algol.

Yes! :D
--
In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none.
In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief.

70 percent of American adults do not understand the scientific process.

Julian Stecklina

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Jun 16, 2002, 5:44:17 AM6/16/02
to
ja...@unlambda.com (James A. Crippen) writes:

> Well that's what you get for using one of them funny computers that
> boots with FORTH (you know, like a Sun, or an Apple, or an IBM
> RS/6000, or ...), instead of a *real* computer like an Intel x86 that
> boots a 16-bit processor with segmented memory. Can't trust them
> damned FORTH based booters -- gimme 16-bit 80286 machine code anyday!
> It's *so* much easier to read! And it's not backwards, unless you use
> the AT&T assembler...

The FreeBSD bootloader utilises Forth as well. :)

> > You mean, you wonder where the knowledge and research are?
>
> No, the knowledge and the research put into it are really a wonder....

I really would like to see this chart, but I currently have no access
to foreign print media. :-|

Regards,
Julian
--
Meine Hompage: http://julian.re6.de

Ich suche eine PCMCIA v1.x type I/II/III Netzwerkkarte.
Ich biete als Tauschobjekt eine v2 100MBit Karte in OVP.

Julian Stecklina

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Jun 16, 2002, 5:49:28 AM6/16/02
to
Lyle McKennot <sp...@spam.menot.com> writes:

> >Note that Scheme is not
> >related to Lisp at all, not even influenced. No little branches from Lisp to
> >Scheme. Scheme is a descendant of Algol.
>
> Everything is.
> Except Fortan and Lisp.

I recently enjoyed a tutorial dealing with FORTRAN-77 and -90 and it
looked a lot like all those ALGOL-related languages. It reminded me
especially of PASCAL somehow.

James A. Crippen

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Jun 16, 2002, 10:56:19 PM6/16/02
to
Julian Stecklina <der_j...@web.de> writes:

> Lyle McKennot <sp...@spam.menot.com> writes:
>
> > >Note that Scheme is not
> > >related to Lisp at all, not even influenced. No little branches from Lisp to
> > >Scheme. Scheme is a descendant of Algol.
> >
> > Everything is.
> > Except Fortan and Lisp.
>
> I recently enjoyed a tutorial dealing with FORTRAN-77 and -90 and it
> looked a lot like all those ALGOL-related languages. It reminded me
> especially of PASCAL somehow.

F90 got a big injection of Algol. But F77 tried hard to stay pure.
But a few Algol-type constructs snuck in. Not many, and nobody seemed
to want to use them instead of computed goto.

For fun, try reading the ADVENT source someday. It's nightmarish.

Will Hartung

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Jun 17, 2002, 1:12:39 PM6/17/02
to

"Kenny Tilton" <kti...@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message
news:3D0A9265...@nyc.rr.com...

>
>
> Will Hartung wrote:
> > Accoring to this thing, Erik has been vindicated. Note that Scheme is
not
> > related to Lisp at all, not even influenced. No little branches from
Lisp to
> > Scheme.
>
> Check again, at mid-1972.

Aaiiee!!

Yes, you're right Kenny. There is a connection from Lisp to Scheme, and also
from Smalltalk to Objective-C. It took a careful study for me to find them,
however.

I need to get these glasses fixed.

Oh, wait...I'm not wearing glasses.

This will be crushing news to Erik, however. I don't know if he can bear it.

Regards,

Will

Joe Marshall

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Jun 17, 2002, 2:34:47 PM6/17/02
to

"Will Hartung" <wi...@msoft.com> wrote in message news:3d0e1ebf$1...@news.teranews.com...

>
> This will be crushing news to Erik, however. I don't know if he can bear it.
>

Surely he will draw upon the examples of Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus
Aurelius and react in his usual dispassionate, stoic way.

Erik Naggum

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Jun 17, 2002, 5:08:07 PM6/17/02
to
* "Will Hartung" <wi...@msoft.com>

| This will be crushing news to Erik, however. I don't know if he can bear it.

I think denial has been underrated as a coping technique. There is no link.

Kenny Tilton

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Jun 17, 2002, 10:25:14 PM6/17/02
to

Erik Naggum wrote:
>
> * "Will Hartung" <wi...@msoft.com>
> | This will be crushing news to Erik, however. I don't know if he can bear it.
>
> I think denial has been underrated as a coping technique. There is no link.

Still no link, but check the NY Times archive, Science Times, going back
10-15 years or so. Study showed that the survivors of an atrocity
happiest decades later were those who moved on and never looked back.
Those who dwelt on the experience turned out the worst.

Just say "yes" to denial?

Erik Naggum

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Jun 17, 2002, 11:52:05 PM6/17/02
to
* Kenny Tilton

| Still no link, but check the NY Times archive, Science Times, going back
| 10-15 years or so. Study showed that the survivors of an atrocity
| happiest decades later were those who moved on and never looked back.
| Those who dwelt on the experience turned out the worst.

Kenny, with all due respect, we have our own archive of "atrocities" in
this newsgroup. Those who get over things, turn out the best, and those
who dwell on the experience and downright refuse to let go, turn out the
worst, often going to pieces in public most disgracefully. Don't need no
stinkin' study to grasp this, hence my frequent requet for people to just
get over it. My stance is: So Scheme happened. Please refrain from
reminding me. (I get pissed off when people remind me too much, though.
I recall a brilliant retort to a whining loser who clamored for someone's
opinion on him. "But what do you think of me?" "I don't think of you.")

(Incidentally, denial is a form of not coping with something. It is very
different from actually coping well with something. Leting bygones be
bygones is not denial, it is the healthiest and most mature reaction you
can have to anything that happens to you: You can _not_ chnage the past,
but you can learn from it and turn whatever happened into an asset. If
you can only build on "luck", and not build on setbacks or adversity, you
are not in control of your life or your destiny -- whatever constitutes
"luck" is. A certain U.S. president would do well to figure out, using
his meager intellectual prowess, what it means to deal _rationally_ with
a disaster, before he takes the whole Western world wih him into his
permanent victim mode and goes just as bananas about irrational revenge
as a few tribes in the Middle East, who also cannot get over _anything_.
I mean, now we know what happened to an an emotional doofus like Anakin,
right? The path to the Dark Side is paved with bad retentions.)

In a flash of on-topicness, I realized that Common Lisp community is
fraught with people who cannot let go of certain design decisions. The
most annoying failure to get over an arbitrary decision is the case of
symbols. The addition of the loop macro is another regretted decision.
Some have serious coping problems with the numeric contagion rules. It
seems to me that if someone needs an excuse not to use Common Lisp, the
best place to go look for ammunition is the Common Lisp community itself:
I know of no other community where so many people still remain in the
community after being so unhappy with some design choice that they cannot
get over it and therefore seize any opportunity to denounce the whole
language for its "failure" to do their bidding -- while still using it,
or at least not quitting the community fair and square. Re Scheme, it is
an unfortunate fact that a few misguided people discarded the wisdom of
much smarter people and regressed to a single namespace, but if you want
that kind of braindamage, you know where to get it -- there is no need to
carp on the decision made by Common Lisp to support _intelligent_ and
_human_ programmers as if you could possibly change anything by being a
resilient whiner.