worse is better... 
Author Message
 worse is better...

The other day I ran across Gabriel's article
"Lisp: Good News Bad News How to Win Big" and re-read it.
Consider this little tidbit in the light of what happened
with Java and Dylan:

   "The lesson to be learned from this is that it is often
   undesirable to go for the right thing first.  It is better
   to get half of the right thing available so that it spreads
   like a virus.  Once people are hooked on it, take the time
   to improve it to 90% of the right thing."

I imagine the Dylan designers must have read this.  What a
shame they didn't (or couldn't?) heed it.

John Doner



Sat, 19 Dec 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 worse is better...

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    John>    "The lesson to be learned from this is that it is often
    John> undesirable to go for the right thing first.  It is better
    John> to get half of the right thing available so that it spreads
    John> like a virus.  Once people are hooked on it, take the time
    John> to improve it to 90% of the right thing."

If my memory serves correctly, this is a quote from the Unix Haters
Handbook. And it's sarcasm, there is no such thing as "90% of the
right thing". It's either the Right Thing, or the Wrong Thing. And, as
the Jargon File states: "In cases where `the good is the enemy of the
best', the merely good -- although good -- is nevertheless the Wrong
Thing".

Andreas

- --
Kallisti!

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Mon, 21 Dec 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 worse is better...

Quote:

> The other day I ran across Gabriel's article
> "Lisp: Good News Bad News How to Win Big" and re-read it.
> Consider this little tidbit in the light of what happened
> with Java and Dylan:


Quote:
> If my memory serves correctly, this is a quote from the Unix Haters
> Handbook.

A little semantic difficulty here...the Unix-Haters Handbook probably
quotes Gabriel's article too, but that hardly makes this a quote from the
Handbook!

I highly recommend reading the article itself; it's melancholy but quite
well written. The quote is more powerful in the context of the whole
argument. It's available all over the web, but the somewhat definitive URL
is:

        http://www.ai.mit.edu/articles/good-news/good-news.html

- W
--



Fri, 25 Dec 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 worse is better...

Walter Smith [on the gabriel good-news/bad-news article]:

   I highly recommend reading the article itself; it's melancholy but quite
   well written.

agreed.

        ... The quote is more powerful in the context of the whole
   argument. ...

alas, the article has become something of a club for system design types
who are in need of easy explanations for the failure of things they love
or the successes of things they hate. there is more to it than gabriel's
lovely argument, but that takes work... :]

oz



Fri, 08 Jan 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 worse is better...


   Walter Smith [on the gabriel good-news/bad-news article]:

      I highly recommend reading the article itself; it's melancholy but quite
      well written.

   agreed.

Yes, its a thought provoking article.

           ... The quote is more powerful in the context of the whole
      argument. ...

   alas, the article has become something of a club for system design types
   who are in need of easy explanations for the failure of things they love
   or the successes of things they hate. there is more to it than gabriel's
   lovely argument, but that takes work... :]

For a different point of view, there is a paper by Butler Lampson called
"Hints for Computer System Design" (IEEE Computer, Jan 1984, p 11-28) which
is quite interesting. It should be required reading for Lisp folk.

-- Brian



Sat, 09 Jan 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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