High performance Lisp implementations?

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Chuck Fry

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Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
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In article <jhague-1711...@ts1-134.advancenet.net>,
James Hague <jha...@dadgum.com> wrote:
>I keep hearing mention of supposedly high performance Lisp
>implementations; systems that give C a run for its money in the
>performance department. But I haven't been able to find anything
>available for the all-pervasive Windows PC in a less than $5000 price
>range. So my questions:
>
>* Are there _really_ some hot Lisp systems out there that can stack up
>against popular non-lisp PC programming environments?

Sure. Allegro CL/PC is what, $500/copy? Presumably volume discounts
and/or site licenses are available. The new release (5.0) is based on
the same source code as the Unix version, which I've successfully used
to get C-like performance for frequently executed code.

I believe Harlequin's LispWorks for PC is in the same price range.

Understand that you will have to use type declarations and give up some
run time safety checks to get this kind of performance, much as you
would in C. But with the Common Lisp macro facility, you can often hide
much of the boilerplate and complexity beneath a programmer-friendly
veneer.

>* If they'd be fantastic for general application development, why are they
>such a well-kept secret?

Franz and Harlequin no are doubt wondering the same thing.

>* Are there any lower cost lisp or scheme systems that are suitable for
>more than just teaching?

If you don't mind running Linux on your PC, you can get a copy of
Allegro, INCLUDING THE NATIVE CODE COMPILER, for free. Is that cheap
enough?

IIRC Harlequin's FreeLisp product does not include a native code
compiler, but runs under Windows.

Disclaimer: I use Allegro on Unix workstations, and Harlequin on oddball
hardware, in my job. I paid good money for Macintosh Common Lisp to use
at home. No Lisp vendor currently pays me to say anything.

-- Chuck
--
Chuck Fry -- Jack of all trades, master of none
chu...@chucko.com (text only please) chuc...@home.com (MIME enabled)
Lisp bigot, mountain biker, car nut, sometime guitarist and photographer

Lyman S. Taylor

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Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
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If this is a "troll" the please go bother another newsgroup.
If not read on.

In article <jhague-1711...@ts1-134.advancenet.net>,
James Hague <jha...@dadgum.com> wrote:
>I keep hearing mention of supposedly high performance Lisp
>implementations; systems that give C a run for its money in the
>performance department.

Well, for some computations each side can probably pick out
benchmarks to claim victory.

You will pay a modest premium for the dynamic features of lisp.
So "run for its money" likely means that it is the same ballpark.
If speed is the ultimate premium then C, if you manage to get it
to work, will likely be the winner.

The skill of the programmers is certainly a nontrival factor.

> But I haven't been able to find anything
>available for the all-pervasive Windows PC in a less than $5000 price
>range. So my questions:

Unless you need SQL/ODBC and/or CORBA, the Harlequin's Lispworks for
Windows is about an order of magnitutde lower than that price.


>* Are there _really_ some hot Lisp systems out there that can stack up
>against popular non-lisp PC programming environments?

Depends how wedded you are to your present tool's approach.


>* If they'd be fantastic for general application development, why are they
>such a well-kept secret?

A few reasons off the top if my head....

i. Unnatural fear of parentheses.
ii. Urban legend "Lisp is slow". "Lisp is interpreted".
iii. Mismatch impedance between the "libraries" commonly provided
by most OS'es and Lisp. [ Blame on both sides for this.]
iv. Willful ingnorance .... why use a screwdriver when my trusty
hammer can pound that screw in efficiently.
v. Tools haven't been aimed at this market. [ I don't think
many of the Comerical Lisp vendors have considered
Visual Basic a competitor. Perhaps they should have.]

Tranditionally, Lisp has be used to tackle non-general
applications. Programs for which a well understood approach isn't
quite known.

--
Lyman S. Taylor "emacs - ... Do NOT use vi to edit your programs.
(ly...@cc.gatech.edu) Watching you stuggle through the
edit/compile/debug cycle [with ] vi
will make me despair of your sanity..."
P. N. Hilfinger CS 164 Fall '92 Syllabus

Rainer Joswig

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Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
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In article <72tt0t$b3t$1...@shell5.ba.best.com>, chu...@best.com (Chuck Fry) wrote:

> IIRC Harlequin's FreeLisp product does not include a native code
> compiler, but runs under Windows.

Isn't it superseded by "LispWorks for Windows 4.1, Personal Edition"?

> Disclaimer: ... No Lisp vendor currently pays me to say anything.

Is that a request or a disclaimer? ;-)

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

Lyman S. Taylor

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Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
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In article <72tt0t$b3t$1...@shell5.ba.best.com>,
Chuck Fry <chu...@best.com> wrote:
...

>>* Are there _really_ some hot Lisp systems out there that can stack up
>>against popular non-lisp PC programming environments?
>
>Sure. Allegro CL/PC is what, $500/copy?

I'm not sure you can deliver applications with that version.

>
>IIRC Harlequin's FreeLisp product does not include a native code
>compiler, but runs under Windows.

FreeLisp has thankfully been put out to pasture. The Personal
edition of LispWorks for Windows is now free.

Andrew Shalit

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Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
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ly...@cc.gatech.edu (Lyman S. Taylor) writes:

> >IIRC Harlequin's FreeLisp product does not include a native code
> >compiler, but runs under Windows.
>
> FreeLisp has thankfully been put out to pasture. The Personal
> edition of LispWorks for Windows is now free.

And does include the compiler and full environment. You can't
use this (free) version to deliver applications, though. For
that you need the Professional Edition.

Paolo Amoroso

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Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
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On Tue, 17 Nov 1998 22:14:00 -0600, jha...@dadgum.com (James Hague) wrote:

> I keep hearing mention of supposedly high performance Lisp
> implementations; systems that give C a run for its money in the

> performance department. But I haven't been able to find anything


> available for the all-pervasive Windows PC in a less than $5000 price
> range. So my questions:

You may check Corman Lisp:

http://www.corman.net/CormanLisp.html


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

Harvey J. Stein

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Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
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amo...@mclink.it (Paolo Amoroso) writes:

Take your Windows PC, install Linux & run Stalin on your Scheme code.

Cost : $0
Speed : Sometimes *faster* than the C code you would have written.

--
Harvey J. Stein
BFM Financial Research
hjs...@bfr.co.il

Steven Vere

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Nov 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/19/98
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In <m2ogq4w...@blinky.bfr.co.il> hjs...@bfr.co.il (Harvey J.

Stein) writes:
>
>amo...@mclink.it (Paolo Amoroso) writes:
>
> > On Tue, 17 Nov 1998 22:14:00 -0600, jha...@dadgum.com (James Hague)
wrote:
> >
> > > I keep hearing mention of supposedly high performance Lisp
> > > implementations; systems that give C a run for its money in the
> > > performance department. But I haven't been able to find anything
> > > available for the all-pervasive Windows PC in a less than $5000
price
> > > range. So my questions:
> >
> > You may check Corman Lisp:
> >
> > http://www.corman.net/CormanLisp.html
>
>Take your Windows PC, install Linux & run Stalin on your Scheme code.

Am I the only person in the universe who is uncomfortable about a
computer programm being named after a notorious mass murderer of
millions of people? Who is the person who named this program Stalin?

Steven Vere


Marco Antoniotti

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Nov 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/20/98
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ve...@ix.netcom.com(Steven Vere) writes:

How about calling it Pinochet? :)

--
Marco Antoniotti ===========================================
PARADES, Via San Pantaleo 66, I-00186 Rome, ITALY
tel. +39 - (0)6 - 68 10 03 17, fax. +39 - (0)6 - 68 80 79 26
http://www.parades.rm.cnr.it

Andrew Shalit

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Nov 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/20/98
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ve...@ix.netcom.com(Steven Vere) writes:

> >Take your Windows PC, install Linux & run Stalin on your Scheme code.
>
> Am I the only person in the universe who is uncomfortable about a
> computer programm being named after a notorious mass murderer of
> millions of people? Who is the person who named this program Stalin?

When we were working on Dylan ("DYNamic LANguage"), as the language
acquired more features of static compilation, some people jokingly
suggested that we should rename it Stalin or Stalan, to reflect
that new emphasis. (In their minds, this reflected not only
the "static" nature of the language, but the dictatorial strictness
they now saw in the language, coming from a Lisp background.)

We decided, like you, that using the name would be inappropriate,
and stuck instead with our portmanteau based on an old english
mythical character.

David Steuber The Interloper

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Nov 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/21/98
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On 19 Nov 1998 20:52:06 GMT, ve...@ix.netcom.com(Steven Vere) claimed
or asked:

% >Take your Windows PC, install Linux & run Stalin on your Scheme code.
%
% Am I the only person in the universe who is uncomfortable about a
% computer programm being named after a notorious mass murderer of
% millions of people? Who is the person who named this program Stalin?

Perhaps. Perhaps not. Stalin is a cool name. I'm sure that Uncle
Joe wasn't the only Stalin around either.

My criticism would be of the advice to simply change operating
systems. This is a non-trivial thing to do. I have Linux installed
on this PC, and Linux is the sole operating system of my new Solo.
But look at my headers and you will see that I am still posting with
NT.

Now who's idea was it to name a program 'finger?

--
David Steuber (ver 1.31.2a)
http://www.david-steuber.com
To reply by e-mail, replace trashcan with david.

"Ignore reality there's nothing you can do about it..."
-- Natalie Imbruglia "Don't you think?"

Steven Vere

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Nov 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/23/98
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In <36562ae...@news.newsguy.com> tras...@david-steuber.com (David

Steuber "The Interloper") writes:
>
>On 19 Nov 1998 20:52:06 GMT, ve...@ix.netcom.com(Steven Vere) claimed
>or asked:
>
>% >Take your Windows PC, install Linux & run Stalin on your Scheme
code.
>%
>% Am I the only person in the universe who is uncomfortable about a
>% computer programm being named after a notorious mass murderer of
>% millions of people? Who is the person who named this program
Stalin?
>
>Perhaps. Perhaps not. Stalin is a cool name. I'm sure that Uncle
>Joe wasn't the only Stalin around either.

I can't let this pass. Stalin is NOT a cool name and there weren't
very many other Stalins. His son committed suicide and his daughter
Svetlana, living in the US (Utah I think) has married and carries her
husband's name. His family name was Jugashvili, not Stalin, which he
adopted while a revolutionary. Stalin was a monster, and naming
anything positive after him is an affront to the millions who died of
starvation and disease in the Gulag concentration camps, or who were
tortured or murdered by his regime. A single example suffices: the
20,000 Polish officers who were shot in the back of the head in 1940 on
Stalin's direct order and buried in mass graves in the Katyn forrest in
the Ukraine.

Steven Vere

Raymond Toy

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Nov 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/23/98
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>>>>> "Steven" == Steven Vere <ve...@ix.netcom.com> writes:

Steven> In <36562ae...@news.newsguy.com> tras...@david-steuber.com (David


Steven> Steuber "The Interloper") writes:
>> Perhaps. Perhaps not. Stalin is a cool name. I'm sure that Uncle
>> Joe wasn't the only Stalin around either.

Steven> I can't let this pass. Stalin is NOT a cool name and there weren't
Steven> very many other Stalins. His son committed suicide and his daughter
Steven> Svetlana, living in the US (Utah I think) has married and carries her
Steven> husband's name. His family name was Jugashvili, not Stalin, which he
Steven> adopted while a revolutionary. Stalin was a monster, and naming
Steven> anything positive after him is an affront to the millions who died of
Steven> starvation and disease in the Gulag concentration camps, or who were
Steven> tortured or murdered by his regime. A single example suffices: the
Steven> 20,000 Polish officers who were shot in the back of the head in 1940 on
Steven> Stalin's direct order and buried in mass graves in the Katyn forrest in
Steven> the Ukraine.

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would
smell as sweet."


Ray


vik...@cit.org.by

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Nov 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/25/98
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In article <73cbcc$s...@sjx-ixn9.ix.netcom.com>,
ve...@ix.netcom.com(Steven Vere) wrote:
> In <36562ae...@news.newsguy.com> tras...@david-steuber.com (David

> Steuber "The Interloper") writes:
[snip]

> >
> >Perhaps. Perhaps not. Stalin is a cool name. I'm sure that Uncle
> >Joe wasn't the only Stalin around either.
>
> I can't let this pass. Stalin is NOT a cool name and there weren't
> very many other Stalins. His son committed suicide and his daughter
> Svetlana, living in the US (Utah I think) has married and carries her
> husband's name. His family name was Jugashvili, not Stalin, which he
> adopted while a revolutionary. Stalin was a monster, and naming
> anything positive after him is an affront to the millions who died of
> starvation and disease in the Gulag concentration camps, or who were
> tortured or murdered by his regime. A single example suffices: the
> 20,000 Polish officers who were shot in the back of the head in 1940 on
> Stalin's direct order and buried in mass graves in the Katyn forrest in
> the Ukraine.

I'd agree that Stalin is not a very popular name. Actually, it's pseudonim
derived from Russian word stal' , which stands for steel. AFAIK, his son has
not committed suicide but was executed at German prisoner-of- war camp when
his father denied to exchange him for captured Reich feldmarshall (Paulus,
IIRC). Katyn situated in the Belarus (the memorial is about 200 km from place
where I live), not Ukraine. He's also punished about 300,000 of Red Army
officers in 1937, which lead to a great failures during start phase of War.
And yes, he was a monster, as well as Pinochet, Sukhartu, Nixon, Pol Pot and
many others in the recent history.

Anyway, I think it's a bad idea to discuss politics or history at this NG.

Regards,
Eugene Zaikonnikov

P.S. As for compiler name, Stalin definitely sounds.

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

Eli Barzilay

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Nov 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/25/98
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ve...@ix.netcom.com(Steven Vere) writes:
> ...

>
> I can't let this pass. Stalin is NOT a cool name and there weren't
> very many other Stalins. His son committed suicide and his daughter
> Svetlana, living in the US (Utah I think) has married and carries her
> husband's name. His family name was Jugashvili, not Stalin, which he
> adopted while a revolutionary. Stalin was a monster, and naming
> anything positive after him is an affront to the millions who died of
> starvation and disease in the Gulag concentration camps, or who were
> tortured or murdered by his regime. A single example suffices: the
> 20,000 Polish officers who were shot in the back of the head in 1940 on
> Stalin's direct order and buried in mass graves in the Katyn forrest in
> the Ukraine.

I totally agree. I've been wondering who was it that gave that name, and what
bothered me is that such a wonderful language should have an implementation
with that name.

To make the point clearer - how would people feel about having any software
called "Hitler" compiler. I guess that some people would consider this also to
be a "cool" name.

--
Eli Barzilay:
Maze is Life!

Michael Tuchman

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Nov 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/25/98
to
vik...@cit.org.by writes:
> Anyway, I think it's a bad idea to discuss politics or history at this NG.

Usually this is good advice, but I think in this case it merits some
discussion because it is of interest to this community not to be
associated with the name Stalin. Regardless of the original etymology
of the word/name, its meaning has been forever changed by history.
I'll certainly never use Stalin for anything, just out of protest.

--
Michael Tuchman
A Great way to avoid flame wars: all.SCORE has ("vs\\.?" -1000 nil r)

David Steuber The Interloper

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Nov 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/26/98
to
On 23 Nov 1998 19:00:28 GMT, ve...@ix.netcom.com(Steven Vere) claimed
or asked:

% I can't let this pass. Stalin is NOT a cool name and there weren't
% very many other Stalins. His son committed suicide and his daughter
% Svetlana, living in the US (Utah I think) has married and carries her
% husband's name. His family name was Jugashvili, not Stalin, which he
% adopted while a revolutionary. Stalin was a monster, and naming
% anything positive after him is an affront to the millions who died of
% starvation and disease in the Gulag concentration camps, or who were
% tortured or murdered by his regime. A single example suffices: the
% 20,000 Polish officers who were shot in the back of the head in 1940 on
% Stalin's direct order and buried in mass graves in the Katyn forrest in
% the Ukraine.

If you plan to avoid a product because it has a name used by an evil
bastard, then you might consider avoiding other products based on past
associations.

A short list:

Volkswagen -- The Hitler mobile
Mitsubishi -- Built the planes that bombed Pearl Harbor
Mercedes -- The engines in most of the Luftwafte planes
BMW -- The rest of the engines
General Electric -- Maker of nuclear weapons
Westinghouse -- ditto

Never mind that the above mentioned companies make useful consumer
goods. Never mind that much of the technology you are used to using
sprang out of the cold war. That includes the Internet.

Names are pretty meaningless in and of themselves. I don't know what
motivated someone to name a product "Stalin". I find it hard to
imagine it was because he approved of the actions of a long dead
malevolent dictator.

So, what about those people who carried out the orders? It takes a
lot of people to murder 20,000 other people with bullets. It took a
lot of people to murder 140k+ people on two separate August afternoons
in 1945.

Humans don't get to be self-rightouse anymore.

--
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...

Mark K. Gardner

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Nov 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/26/98
to
On 23 Nov 1998 19:00:28 GMT, Steven Vere <ve...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
> I can't let this pass. Stalin is NOT a cool name and there weren't
>very many other Stalins. His son committed suicide and his daughter
>Svetlana, living in the US (Utah I think) has married and carries her
>husband's name. His family name was Jugashvili, not Stalin, which he
>adopted while a revolutionary. Stalin was a monster, and naming
>anything positive after him is an affront to the millions who died of
>starvation and disease in the Gulag concentration camps, or who were
>tortured or murdered by his regime. A single example suffices: the
>20,000 Polish officers who were shot in the back of the head in 1940 on
>Stalin's direct order and buried in mass graves in the Katyn forrest in
>the Ukraine.

I am surprised that no one has "asked" the author of the package why
he named it what he did. The README file associated with the package
gives us a clue:
<quote>
Stalin - a STAtic Language ImplementatioN
<\quote>

I have not used the package but I did take the time to visit the URL
http://www.neci.nj.nec.com/homepages/qobi/software.html, download the
(rather substantial) package and read the docs. It looks like someone
is finally trying to bring aggressive optimization to the Scheme world.

Mark

--
Mark K. Gardner (mkga...@cs.uiuc.edu)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Real-Time Systems Laboratory
--

rusty craine

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Nov 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/26/98
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David Steuber "The Interloper" wrote in message
<365fdc98...@news.newsguy.com>...

>Humans don't get to be self-rightouse anymore.

non decipitut qui scit se decipi!
Rusty

hmmm in this lisp news group i've heard snippets about many languages but
never about rexx. must be no main framer's or os2 guys.

rusty craine

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Nov 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/26/98
to

Erik Naggum wrote in message <31211242...@naggum.no>...
>* Raymond Toy <t...@rtp.ericsson.se>

>| "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would
>| smell as sweet."
>
>
> incidentally, I think calling a compiler "Stalin" is cool. it _could_ be
> that I've grown used to referring to the extremes in anal retentiveness
> as "stalinistic", as in "stalinistic typing systems", but it's hard to
> tell. calling a compiler "Hitler" or "Pol Pot" might cause some valid
> objections, though.

I don't know why this thread tugs at my sense of humor, but it does. We
could have compliers and for alot of cultural icons

"The James Dean" - goes fast as hell then crashes
"The Marilyn Monroe" - looks great but throws you a curve
"The Maggie Thatcher" - works great if your a conservative (or was that
cobol)
"The Erick Naggum" - error message - incorrect syntax;
error message - get your inept hands
off the key board;
error message - god save me from
mediocrity;
error message - due to your lack of
anything resembelling logic,
your
system will be shut down till farther

notice......
"The English House of Lords" - works ok but a bit queer (or was the forth?)
"The Bill Clinton" - mistake prone, works best for students
"The Jimmy Carter" - doesn't do much but you get it for peanuts
"The William Shakespeare" - great complier but you never sure who write the
program

and last my favorite or favourite depending

"The Madonna" - works best stripped down but has a solid structure.

Like a virgin
Rusty

>
>#:Erik
>-------
>น i.e., I wasted a bit of time trying to find a useful reference
>--
> The Microsoft Dating Program -- where do you want to crash tonight?

Erik Naggum

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Nov 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/27/98
to
* Raymond Toy <t...@rtp.ericsson.se>
| "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would
| smell as sweet."

according to my memory of my Shakespeare classes of about a decade agoš,
this was a brilliantly ironic expression employed by Shakespeare to refer
to the utter stench in the theaters of his time, which got their slang
name from the use of huge heaps of flowers to overpower the stench. the
lecturer lamented the loss of the strong irony in the modern usage.

incidentally, I think calling a compiler "Stalin" is cool. it _could_ be
that I've grown used to referring to the extremes in anal retentiveness
as "stalinistic", as in "stalinistic typing systems", but it's hard to
tell. calling a compiler "Hitler" or "Pol Pot" might cause some valid
objections, though.

#:Erik
-------
š i.e., I wasted a bit of time trying to find a useful reference

Erik Naggum

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Nov 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/27/98
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* tras...@david-steuber.com (David Steuber "The Interloper")

| Never mind that much of the technology you are used to using sprang out
| of the cold war. That includes the Internet.

this latter sentence is false. the ARPAnet was built to share computing
resources, _not_ to survive a nuclear attack, as some would have it. the
cold war had very little impact on the development of the ARPAnet and
even less on the Internet the ARPAnet became.

#:Erik, FWIW

Martti Halminen

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Nov 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/27/98
to
rusty craine wrote:

> hmmm in this lisp news group i've heard snippets about many languages but
> never about rexx. must be no main framer's or os2 guys.

Well, any self-respecting Lisp programmer should feel rather unhappy
with a language that uses unbalanced parentheses as a normal style (at
least did back in '86, when I took a look at it...)


--

Stig Hemmer

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Nov 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/27/98
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Martti Halminen <m...@dpe.fi> writes:
> Well, any self-respecting Lisp programmer should feel rather unhappy
> with a language that uses unbalanced parentheses as a normal style (at
> least did back in '86, when I took a look at it...)

Just as any self-respecting Rexx programmer should feel rather unhappy
with a language that uses unbalanced single quotes as a normal style,
as Lisp does.

One can complain about much concerning the Rexx language, but don't
complain about absolutely minor details of the syntax, please?

Stig Hemmer, perl -e 'print "Not a Perl hacker.\n"'
Jack of a Few Trades.
"Just when you accept that life's a bitch, it has puppies."

PS: In case anybody wondered, Rexx stems from VM/CMS, which uses "("
as an option prefix character, like "/" in VMS and "-" in Unix.

Harvey J. Stein

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Nov 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/27/98
to
Erik Naggum <er...@naggum.no> writes:

> * tras...@david-steuber.com (David Steuber "The Interloper")
> | Never mind that much of the technology you are used to using sprang out
> | of the cold war. That includes the Internet.
>
> this latter sentence is false. the ARPAnet was built to share computing
> resources, _not_ to survive a nuclear attack, as some would have it. the
> cold war had very little impact on the development of the ARPAnet and
> even less on the Internet the ARPAnet became.

Except that development and operations were largely funded by the DoD,
AKA The Department of Defense, whose budget in those days was hugely
bloated by cold war concerns.

We have from
http://www.oreilly.com/reference/dictionary/terms/A/Advanced_Research_Projects_Agency_Network.htm:

ARPAnet

Advanced Research Projects Agency Network

The predecessor to the Internet, officially phased out in
1990. Began in 1969, linking four computer sites (Stanford Research
Institute, the University of Utah, the University of California at
Los Angeles, and the University of California at Santa Barbara)
that were doing research for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Later called DARPAnet, for the Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency (which is an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense),
which issued the request for a proposal for the network's
development.

Initially a computer science experiment, then developed to provide
communications between government agencies, military facilities,
defense contractors, and universities, with the goal that the
network should be operational even when important parts were
unavailable (that is, not vulnerable to "nuclear
decapitation"). The first network to use TCP/IP.

Using 56 kbits/s leased lines for the connections between sites,
grew to about 50 sites in the early 1970s and to a few hundred in
the early 1980s. By 1987 the number of sites was several thousand,
and the National Science Foundation sponsored a T1 (1.544 Mbits/s)
backbone (rather than just linking all sites directly to each
other), and the network began to be called NSFNet. By 1991 the
backbone was upgraded to T3 (44.736 Mbits/s).

David Thornley

unread,
Nov 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/27/98
to
In article <365fdc98...@news.newsguy.com>,

David Steuber "The Interloper" <tras...@david-steuber.com> wrote:
>On 23 Nov 1998 19:00:28 GMT, ve...@ix.netcom.com(Steven Vere) claimed
>or asked:
>
>% I can't let this pass. Stalin is NOT a cool name and there weren't

>
>If you plan to avoid a product because it has a name used by an evil
>bastard, then you might consider avoiding other products based on past
>associations.
>
No, not really. The objection is not that Stalin is a name used by
an evil bastard, but that it was the name of a truly evil bastard.
(Not his birth name, but the name he used for most of his adult life.)
Stalin was alive not all that long ago; my father was in B-17 missions
over Europe partly because of Stalin's support for Hitler (which ended
sometime on June 22, 1941).

>A short list:
>
>Volkswagen -- The Hitler mobile

The *name* means People's Car.

>Mitsubishi -- Built the planes that bombed Pearl Harbor

No, that would be Aichi and Nakajima. Mitsubishi built the fighters
that provided air cover at Pearl Harbor.


>Mercedes -- The engines in most of the Luftwafte planes
>BMW -- The rest of the engines

With above, the makers of various weapons used in war. Big deal.
Weapons don't commit war crimes, people do.


>General Electric -- Maker of nuclear weapons
>Westinghouse -- ditto

So what's wrong with nuclear weapons? Not that I want one used again
on this planet, you understand, but I think they've overall made this
half century more peaceful.


>
>Names are pretty meaningless in and of themselves. I don't know what
>motivated someone to name a product "Stalin". I find it hard to
>imagine it was because he approved of the actions of a long dead
>malevolent dictator.

Names have power. Emotional power. I don't really care why somebody
named a product "Stalin", I just don't want to use it. His actions
had a real impact on my father's life (and a heck of a lot more impact
on lots of people's father's lives), so it's not like naming something
Genghis Khan.

Do you think there's a reason that you don't see products with names
like "Plague Rat" and "Human Excrement" in the supermarkets?
The name "Stalin" gives me similar feelings.


--
David H. Thornley | These opinions are mine. I
da...@thornley.net | do give them freely to those
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | who run too slowly. O-

David Steuber The Interloper

unread,
Nov 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/28/98
to
On Fri, 27 Nov 1998 18:35:02 GMT, thor...@visi.com (David Thornley)
claimed or asked:

% Do you think there's a reason that you don't see products with names
% like "Plague Rat" and "Human Excrement" in the supermarkets?
% The name "Stalin" gives me similar feelings.

"Chocolate covered crunchy frog". Monty Python.

So the name Stalin is offensive to you. I'm fine with that. I don't
seem to find myself bothered by human atrocities. I'm not saying I
condone such things. I'm just not going to worry about something that
happened before my lifetime. I had a grandfather in WWII (Pacific).
No point in holding any grudges. It just isn't healthy. Look at you.
The name "Stalin" gives you the same feeling as pouring a bowel full
of human excrement for breakfast in the morning. That can't be good
for you.

I'm sorry to make light of your deeply held convictions. I just find
the whole topic silly.

Erik Naggum

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Nov 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/28/98
to
* hjs...@bfr.co.il (Harvey J. Stein)

| Except that development and operations were largely funded by the DoD,
| AKA The Department of Defense, whose budget in those days was hugely
| bloated by cold war concerns.

since the U.S. doesn't really have public funding of research, ARPA, now
DARPA, has had a seminal role in the development of "public" research in
the U.S. all the stuff coming

O'Reilly does many fine things for the computer community, but they are
_not_ historians, and they make all kinds of simple mistakes that real
historians unlearn in their early years, such as believing hearsay and
tertiary sources without confirmation from primary sources. go see the
RFCs, instead. (sorry, I don't have time to guide you right now, but the
Index is a good start. the central repository is ftp.isi.edu:/in-notes.)

in particular, the "survive nuclear attack" part is a _commentary_ on the
success of the project, not a stated goal at any time in its history.
that O'Reilly repeats it as such is just an examle of what I'm talking
about. another example of their confusion is "DARPAnet" -- it was never
called that, even when the ARPA changed name to "DARPA".

consult historic documents or historians for the history, or you yourself
contribute to the dilution of facts in the history that others will read.

#:Erik

Erik Naggum

unread,
Nov 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/28/98
to
* thor...@visi.com (David Thornley)
| Do you think there's a reason that you don't see products with names like
| "Plague Rat" and "Human Excrement" in the supermarkets? The name

| "Stalin" gives me similar feelings.

there is a whole series of candy and sweets for kids in Norway with names
like that. the kids love it.

#:Erik, FWIW

Hrvoje Niksic

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Nov 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/28/98
to
thor...@visi.com (David Thornley) writes:

> >A short list:
> >
> >Volkswagen -- The Hitler mobile
> The *name* means People's Car.

The *name* Stalin means "one of steel".

--
Hrvoje Niksic <hni...@srce.hr> | Student at FER Zagreb, Croatia
--------------------------------+--------------------------------
Predestination was doomed from the start.

Marco Antoniotti

unread,
Nov 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/29/98
to

Pardon the off-topic. There is no Lisp in this message.

thor...@visi.com (David Thornley) writes:

> In article <365fdc98...@news.newsguy.com>,
> David Steuber "The Interloper" <tras...@david-steuber.com> wrote:
> >On 23 Nov 1998 19:00:28 GMT, ve...@ix.netcom.com(Steven Vere) claimed
> >or asked:
> >
> >% I can't let this pass. Stalin is NOT a cool name and there weren't
> >
> >If you plan to avoid a product because it has a name used by an evil
> >bastard, then you might consider avoiding other products based on past
> >associations.
> >
> No, not really. The objection is not that Stalin is a name used by
> an evil bastard, but that it was the name of a truly evil bastard.
> (Not his birth name, but the name he used for most of his adult life.)
> Stalin was alive not all that long ago; my father was in B-17 missions
> over Europe partly because of Stalin's support for Hitler (which ended
> sometime on June 22, 1941).

Stalin was an evil bastard and many (millions) "ex-soviet" citizens
truly suffered and died because of its actions.

Yet, this does not condone simplistic representations of history. I
suggest you go to the nearest bookstore and fetch "The Age of
Extremes" by Eric J. Hobsbawm. Truly marvelous reading (as his own
"The Age of Revolution", "The Age of Capital" and "The Age of
Empire"). Next look carefully at the picture of FDR (the greatest US
President), Winston Churchill (who won the war and lost the election
to the Labour Party) and Josiph Stalin, sitting in Yalta after having
defined a "modus vivendi" which at least prevented major wars (where
the term "major" should evoke mushroom shaped clouds).

Let's remember that if Stalin and the Russian Communisms had truly be
supportive of Hitler (or, as some ignorant commentator has written
recently, they were "the same" as Nazism), we would have had the Nazi
armies in Vladivostock, by the time the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour
(or, as John Belushi in the role of John Blutarsky said in "Animal
House", the Germans). Not a pretty thought.
Luckily for us all, the Nazi armies were stopped in Volgograd, a city
then known as Stalingrad (a name which was a monument to the stupidity
of a totalitatian system).

As far as my family, AFAIK, one of my grandfathers was a fascist, as
hundred of thousands Italians were at the time (never met him, he died
before I was born); the other one was probably too meek to "get
involved"; my father was 18 in 1945 and the only thing he did was
maybe some black market (I heard a story of a pig being raised and
made into delicious sausages in hiding). The women of the family were
all too busy trying to get some food on the table.

I ended up writing Java code and hacking Common Lisp. Quite an history,
isn't it?

Cheers

Sudhir Shenoy

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Nov 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/30/98
to
In article <qhC72.1179$764.4...@ptah.visi.com>, thor...@visi.com

(David Thornley) wrote:
>
> Names have power. Emotional power. I don't really care why somebody
> named a product "Stalin", I just don't want to use it.

Would you really understand it if noone watched "The Truman Show" in Japan
or bought a "Teddy" bear in the Philippines or boycotted Johnson&Johnson
in Vietnam ?

Unfortunately, not everyone is American or has the same kneejerk responses to
the same words e.g. 'smoking' or 'abortion'.

If someone else names a compiler Stalin, you could at least try to understand
why. And of course it is your prerogative not to use it (especially if you don't
write in Scheme) although it is a very good compiler.

Cheers
Sudhir

ssh...@gol.com

Steven Vere

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Nov 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/30/98
to
In <31211242...@naggum.no> Erik Naggum <er...@naggum.no> writes:

> incidentally, I think calling a compiler "Stalin" is cool. it
_could_ be
> that I've grown used to referring to the extremes in anal
retentiveness
> as "stalinistic", as in "stalinistic typing systems", but it's hard
to
> tell. calling a compiler "Hitler" or "Pol Pot" might cause some
valid
> objections, though.

Erik, please explain to everyone why Stalin is cool for killing
millions, for which you apparently see no valid objections, but Hitler
and Pol Pot are uncool for doing the same thing?
Perhaps the Stalin program should begin execution by displaying an
montage image of the rotting corpses at Katyn, showing the bullet hole
in the back of each skull and the hands still tied behind their backs.
Extremely cool indeed.

Steven Vere

Erik Naggum

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Nov 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/30/98
to
* ve...@ix.netcom.com(Steven Vere)

| Erik, please explain to everyone why Stalin is cool for killing
| millions, [self-serving moronic drivel deleted]

that wasn't what I said, and you know it.

the only _important_ property of evils of the past is that they not be
repeated in the future, in any way, shape, or form. by refusing to
accept humor about past evils, you lend them an importance they do not
deserve and which will ultimately destroy your _own_ future, while those
of us who can distinguish what we learn from the lessons where we learn
it, can hope to find a future that doesn't need to have reruns of past
evils with new names as the only difference just because some _morons_
can't learn from the past.

it's people like you who keep the wars going on in the world, long after
any possible perpetrators are dead, buried, and irrelevant to the future.

shut up, get over whatever your problem is, and go write som Lisp code.

#:Erik

Paul Wallich

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Nov 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/30/98
to
In article <31211245...@naggum.no>, Erik Naggum <er...@naggum.no> wrote:

>* tras...@david-steuber.com (David Steuber "The Interloper")
>| Never mind that much of the technology you are used to using sprang out
>| of the cold war. That includes the Internet.
>
> this latter sentence is false. the ARPAnet was built to share computing
> resources, _not_ to survive a nuclear attack, as some would have it. the
> cold war had very little impact on the development of the ARPAnet and
> even less on the Internet the ARPAnet became.

The ARPAnet was not itself built to survive a nuclear attack, but it
_was_ proposed and designed as a prototype for a network that could.
Sharing computational resources was just considered a useful thing for
this research network to be doing while it provided a testbed for researchers
to work out redundancy and routing issues.

I don't recall offhand whether it's in one of JCR LickLider's papers or one
by Bob Taylor, but there was most certainly a claim that they wanted to
design a network that could continue to function "even if one or more nodes
were subjected to temperatures of several million degrees Kelvin."

As for Stalin, it's pretty clear that the name was a matter of choice --
any number of other names could have been formed out of the putative
basis words.

paul

Ralf Muschall

unread,
Nov 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/30/98
to
David Thornley wrote:

> >Names are pretty meaningless in and of themselves. I don't know what
> >motivated someone to name a product "Stalin". I find it hard to
> >imagine it was because he approved of the actions of a long dead
> >malevolent dictator.

> Names have power. Emotional power. I don't really care why somebody


> named a product "Stalin", I just don't want to use it. His actions
> had a real impact on my father's life (and a heck of a lot more impact
> on lots of people's father's lives), so it's not like naming something
> Genghis Khan.

I'd guess that the author (JMS) was neither malevolent not ignorant
in chosing this name (i.e. I don't believe that is was just a
coincidence either).

Taking into account the hebrew-looking comments at the beginnings
of many of his files, the chance that he might be ignorant about
(or even might have any sympathy for) Stalin, Hitler or anybody
else of that bunch is pretty small.

Ralf

Josh Gardner

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Nov 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/30/98
to

Raffael Cavallaro wrote:

> In article <31214481...@naggum.no>, Erik Naggum <er...@naggum.no> wrote:
>
> >it's people like you who keep the wars going on in the world, long after
> > any possible perpetrators are dead, buried, and irrelevant to the future
>

> Just because the perpetrators are dead and buried, doesn't mean they're
> irrelevant to the future.
>
> Raf
>
> --
> Raffael Cavallaro

Yes, I'd have to agree that, just becuase the perpetraitors of crimes against
humanity are long gone, doesn't mean that we should forget about them, or
discount the importance of remembering what happened, so we can prevent such
horrors ever happening again.

Josh


Raffael Cavallaro

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
to
In article <4n1zmu3...@rtp.ericsson.se>, Raymond Toy
<t...@rtp.ericsson.se> wrote:

>"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would
>smell as sweet."

Andthat which we call Stalin, by any other name, would still be one of the
most depraved mass-murderers in human history.

Raf

--
Raffael Cavallaro

Raffael Cavallaro

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
to

Raffael Cavallaro

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
to
In article <lo8u2zu...@shell2.shore.net>, Andrew Shalit
<al...@shore.net> wrote:

>We decided, like you, that using the name would be inappropriate,
>and stuck instead with our portmanteau based on an old english
>mythical character.

Welsh, actually ^^^^^^^^

Raf

--
Raffael Cavallaro

Marco Antoniotti

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
to

All rigth, let's keep the off-topic going...

Josh Gardner <jg...@dowco.com> writes:

> Yes, I'd have to agree that, just becuase the perpetraitors of crimes against
> humanity are long gone, doesn't mean that we should forget about them, or
> discount the importance of remembering what happened, so we can prevent such
> horrors ever happening again.
>

Which is why the Spanish prosecutor Garzon should be allowed to ask
questions to general Pinochet. Or why Ocalan should be tried in an
international court.

Erik Naggum

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
to
* Josh Gardner <jg...@dowco.com>

| Yes, I'd have to agree that, just becuase the perpetraitors of crimes
| against humanity are long gone, doesn't mean that we should forget about
| them, or discount the importance of remembering what happened, so we can
| prevent such horrors ever happening again.

the key issue is to prevent evils from recurring. by focusing too hard
on the _people_ who committed them, you lose sight of recurrences of the
patterns _before_ you get yet more _people_ to focus on. "history
repeats itself", they say, and the reason is that many people don't learn
anything constructive from it, they learn to hate other people from it.
thus, those who remember people too well are the cause of repetitions.

how did Stalin or Hitler og Pol Pot or Pinochet get in position to commit
those evils? I'd venture a guess that the reason some blame the leader
is that they recognize all too well that there is something in the
_culture_ that led to the contemporary _acceptance_ of these people that
gave them the ability to seize power and function as _leaders_ of lots
and lots of their own kind. instead of looking into their own minds and
habits and cultures with an eye to change and to learn from horrible
experience, it is much better for the moron to hate whoever exposed the
evil in himself than to purge it, and if it was some "other" people,
preferably an identifiable group, so much the simpler to deal with for
the useless mind.

the leader himself is irrelevant. it is _how_ he became leader that is
relevant to preventing recurrences, _before_ they happen. if you lose
track of the goal, again: to prevent recurrences of past evils in any
way, shape, or form, some other person will be able to garner support for
his cause and build an organization that will, _again_, surprise people
and cause morons of the future to get upset over yet more _names_.

but who am I talking to? there are two kinds of peopleน: those who
attach stigma to names and those who don't. I would have _hoped_ that
those who were smart enough to see that "Lisp", the name, is not the
cause of the problems associated with it by the _other_ people, would be
smart enough to realize that "Stalin", the name, is not the cause of the
evils associated with it. hope, however, is the mother of frustration.

#:Erik
-------
น apart from those who divide people into two kinds and those who don't

Ola Rinta-Koski

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
to
Erik Naggum <er...@naggum.no> writes:
> shut up, get over whatever your problem is, and go write som Lisp code.

Which reminds me, is there any Lisp code available implementing the
SOM (Self-Organizing Map, aka Kohonen map) algorithm?
--
My nose feels like a bad Ronald Reagan movie...

Eugene Zaikonnikov

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
to
David Thornley wrote in message ...
[snip]

>Stalin was alive not all that long ago; my father was in B-17 missions
>over Europe partly because of Stalin's support for Hitler (which ended
>sometime on June 22, 1941).


And partly because of shameful Munich pact, and partly because of allies
offensive treatment of Germany after World War I. Any of these added much
more fuel to the fire of war than so-called 'Stalin's support for Hitler'.


Eugene Zaikonnikov


Martti Halminen

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Dec 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/3/98
to
Tom Ivar Helbekkmo wrote:

>
> Stig Hemmer <st...@pvv.ntnu.no> writes:
>
> > PS: In case anybody wondered, Rexx stems from VM/CMS, which uses "("
> > as an option prefix character, like "/" in VMS and "-" in Unix.
>
> ...and besides, if it bothers you, you can supply the matching ")" --
> it will be happily ignored.

Yeah, when the school moved from TOPS-20 on a PDP-10 to an IBM running
VM/CMS, it bothered me enough that I decided to graduate instead of
using it :-)


--

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