Is LISP dying? 
Author Message
 Is LISP dying?


   :> I got quite the opposite sense from your post, and from what you
   :>have  said on the issue before, interestingly; I thought you came
   :>across as  explicitly devaluing those who didn't have the neat
   :>"intelligence" skill  that some of us found almost as burdensome
   :>as convenient in our  schooldays. (Can you imagine growing up in
   :>an environment where being too  bright earns you contempt?)

   :Last first: I learned that there's one thing they hate more than a
   :bright buddy; that's a bright and diligent buddy. So I compensated
   :by being lazy.

What I learned was that a bright, independent-minded and different
person has to suffer all kinds of shit. Not much I can do about this. :>
I was lazy, too, at least after I'd turned 14 - but nobody noticed...
(Also, I'd begun to exhibit signs of depression by then, and that was
partially, although ineffectively, picked up on.)

   :I must also note that the German school system has a
   :kind of elitary touch by dividing into three different levels. Thus
   :you separate the more stupid ones after the fourth grade (the
   :original idea was to separate the masses, but with today's
   :education requirements, it works out only partly).

It's interesting that you mention this; the German school system is
occasionally held up here in the UK as a model of how to stream kids
without discriminating against the academic ones. Feel free to tell me
more via email. (Be nice to find out if it works...)

   :If you think that describing most people as looking for authority
   :and (mindlessly) following trends as devaluating, it's because you
   :value intelligence and independance. I don't think your buddies
   :valued anything of that.

They weren't "buddies". I grew up in Norfolk, which is frankly the UK's
equivalent of America's Deep South (you know, where they dig trenches in
the side of the road so the natives don't scuff their knuckles, and a
{*filter*} is defined as a 9 year old who can outrun her brother?). I was
out of there soooooo fast... And yes, I suppose I do value intelligence
and independence, but they aren't the only things to be valued - and I
can't believe that you think they are.

   :I mean, we design our tools ourself. It's designed for us. We see
   :that other people simply don't like our tools, and they use tools
   :that are obviously inferiour (and which are subject to fashions).
   :With "obviously inferiour" I mean that I can master them better
   :than any one of those who refuse to have a look at Forth (or Lisp,
   :it's the same). They just don't come close to my favourite tool.

"Forth (or Lisp, it's the same)" almost exactly sums up my attitude to
Forth. :> You're right.

   :Saying "code monkey" to a VB programmer is easy, but it works out
   :to be bidirectional.

Woah! My commercial life is forcing me to use VB (well, Access) at work.
I can do many other things in many other languages, but I'm the only guy
who finds this application at all penetrable, and half our client base
depends on this... (Take it from me, some kinds of job security you just
don't need.)

   :I once interviewed (more for fun, it was a
   :neighbor) as admin of a VB shop that writes database applications
   :(mostly front-ends) and has a relatively demanding back office
   :(Oracle, Suns, Linux boxes; that's they were seeking skills). My
   :interview partner concluded the interview with the words that I
   :wouldn't fit in the team because of too many skills (I can't
   :translate the German word he used, "Uberflieger", which means
   :someone who flies over the others, and has a somewhat negavite
   :touch).

"Overqualified"?
--
the desk lisard     communa     time's taught the killing game herself



Sun, 13 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?


Quote:

> If you hadn't posted the correction, I would have. The Declaration
> of Independence, one of the two foundation documents of the American
> experiment, refers neither to race nor--given the vagaries of
> the English language--to sex.

Jefferson wrote better than he knew...

Quote:
> The original US Constitution, to its disgrace, considers "persons born
> in a condition of servitude" (I think that is how it is phrased--I
> don't have my copy nearby) equal to 3/5 of free persons for the purpose
> of proportional representation in the House of Representatives. But it
> also makes no reference to race.

By the time Washington left the presidency, he was surprisingly anti-slavery
and considered the abolishment of the "Peculiar Institution" to be the one
great unfinished work of the Revolution, and likely to be increasingly
divisive, up to and including civil war.

Quote:
> There are many myths, originating with J.-J. Rousseau, about the mis-
> treatment of Native Americans by the Europeans.

It's not the treatment of the Indians at the hands of European invaders
that's a myth, it was the idea of the "Noble Savage" that was mythical.
Colonial treatment of Indians ranged from amicable trade and peace to the
most barbaric savagery imaginable.

Quote:
> Actually, the Indians
> killed at least 10 for 1 in attacks on settlers.

And settlers killed ~100 for 1 in attacks on Indians....

Quote:
> Most loss of Indian
> population took place through disease, not warfare.

Very true.

Quote:
>That was certainly
> unfortunate, to say the least, but it is easy to forget that smallpox,
> diphtheria, chicken pox and whooping cough--not to mention cholera,
> typhus and typhoid fever--killed lots of Europeans in America. Medicine
> just wasn't very good at that time, and the mortality rates for Euros
> (from those diseases) stood at close to 50%.

But the death toll was significantly higher for the Indians, as nearly all
early colonial accounts relate (often in glee at how "God's hand" removed
their enemies and left the land for them). Of course, {*filter*}ly transmitted
diseases (causing sterility) and {*filter*} also played significant roles.

Quote:
> The main reason the Euro-
> peans dominated the Americas had to do with their agricultural lifestyle.
> Agriculture permits much higher population densities than hunting.

The Indians of the East Coast, and the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys
were _primarily_ farmers, too. What they practiced would be more properly
called horticulture rather than agriculture, but they lived in settled towns
with extensive fields and orchards. It's very likely that the Indian
population had _already_ declined by ~90% by 1600 AD.

Military technology played an important role, too.

Larry



Sun, 13 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?

Quote:


> >   :There are many myths, originating with J.-J. Rousseau, about the
> >   :mis- treatment of Native Americans by the Europeans. Actually, the
> >   :Indians killed at least 10 for 1 in attacks on settlers.

> >No. The Indians had a {*filter*}y good go at stopping themselves from being
> >invaded; sheer force of numbers and an unprepared immune system may not
> >have helped, but the fact is that white men stole their land.

> The fact is that by and large white men settled in their land.  Some
> tribes couldn't stand the newness, and lashed out.

"Couldn't stand the newness?" They were being invaded and chased off their
own lands!

Quote:
> The Europeans couldn't
> tell the difference between those tribes and the others, and they fought
> them all.

Not hardly. The Europeans were masters at playing tribes off one against
another, first allying with one, then another, until they had defeated all
of them. Very often, the tribes that collaborated the most were in the end
treated the worst (like the Cherokee).

Quote:
> Often unjustly and unfairly.  Some worse than others -- this doesn't even
> start to describe the Spanish conquest of the New World.

That was bad, alright, but read about some of the events of 1636 and 1676 --
the English could be and were every bit as {*filter*}thirsty and merciless as the
Spaniards. In one respect, one could even argue that the Spanish treated
Indians better than the English because after the first few incredibly
{*filter*}y years and decades, the Spanish became alarmed at the precipitous
decline in the Indian population and the government tried to take measures
to reverse the trend. After all, if the Indians all died, who would do all
the work? In New England, though there was some slavery up through the
Revolution, the Protestant work ethic had a different effect. The settlers
would do their own work and most felt that the quicker all the Indians died
off, the better.

Quote:
> >How hard would *you* fight an invading force?

> Right now, I use a thing called 'customs' or 'immigration laws'.  It's
> crude, but it works better than attacking immagrants right out.

Immigrants are coming to _join_ this country, not invade it and take our
property by force despite historical fears of the "Yellow Peril," for
example.  Mexico is not aggressively seeking Lebensraum at our expense, nor
does their government have a doctrine of Manifest Destiny (of Hispanic
control of North America).

Larry



Sun, 13 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?

Quote:

> You don't know the German school system do you?

Well, I went to school in Germany. Actually in Bavaria, which makes
quite a difference to the northern part of Germany (as our politicians
don't like "socialist" ideas ;-).

--
Bernd Paysan
"If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself"
http://www.jwdt.com/~paysan/

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Share what you know. Learn what you don't.



Mon, 14 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?



   :>No, SLRN was having a major headachwe with it.  JED had no
   :>problems with the message.  What SLRN was having a cow over was
   :>this:

   :I use slrn and jed and have no problems. I don't have a funny setup,
   :I think. ?

I don't believe this. An entire subthread devoted to the deficiencies of
my newsreader...? Never mind; next week, I shall have a new computer and
Linux, and hopefully such problems will be history.
--
the desk lisard     communa     time's taught the killing game herself



Mon, 14 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?


   :>How hard would *you* fight an invading force?

   :Right now, I use a thing called 'customs' or 'immigration laws'.
   :It's crude, but it works better than attacking immagrants right out.

Hmm. This is when I realised I'd touched a raw nerve. Sorry if telling
you that your country has imm{*filter*}beginnings causes you a problem; it's
not something I imagine people taking personally.

There *is*, however, a qualitative difference between migration and
invasion. Just ask the Polish, or the Czechs, or... most of Europe. (Or
most of Britain's former colonies, for that matter. Certainly the
Canadians seem to think so.)

   :>the desk lisard     communa     time's taught the killing game herself

   :This line (your signature), BTW, ends with a ^M.  It's the only
   :line in your message to do so.  The standards allow any sort of
   :linebreaks, but they assume that all the linebreaks are the same in
   :one message.

Again, I'm sorry if my decision to use DOS-based software to access
USEnet causes you a problem, but there's not a vast amount I can do
about it.
--
the desk lisard     communa     time's taught the killing game herself



Mon, 14 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?


   :> Last first: I learned that there's one thing they hate more than a
   :> bright buddy; that's a bright and diligent buddy. So I
   :> compensated by being lazy. I must also note that the German
   :> school system has a kind of elitary touch by dividing into three
   :> different levels.

   :You don't know the German school system do you? Yes we have
   :different levels, but some of our governments thought it would be a
   :good idea to put all on the same school. Unfortunatly it turned out
   :for them that this lowers the level. And even the politicians who
   :were responsible for that won't send their childrend to such a
   :school. So the levels seem to be quit e a fine idea. Men are
   :different.

I am reminded for a second of that nice Mr Blair who is currently
running the country (with an iron grip). The rest of Europe should be
looking at Mr Blair and worrying, frankly. The grinning village idiot
who only wants to keep his friends happy and imagines everyone to be his
friend - that's the future of politics. It's only *starting* here.

   :This does not have necessarily have a negative touch. It's on one
   :side admiration and on the other side envy not to be one. But we're
   :way off-topic so now futher discussion if this.

It would appear to be reasonably negative if you don't get the job. :>
--
the desk lisard     communa     time's taught the killing game herself



Mon, 14 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?

Quote:

>...the mistreatment of Native Americans by the Europeans...

I can't quite reconstruct how the Topic "Is LISP dying?" could have
possibly eveolved into the fate of Native Americans,

however, it is quite interesting how things are being named ...

The settlers who involved in disgraceful acts against humanity were
referred to as "Europeans".

Perhaps, if the subject was history to be proud of, these settlers would
have been referred to as "Americans".

This makes me wonder, when did the European settlers actually turn into
Americans ?

Just wondering..., no offense intended.

Here in Japan, where I live, we are equally treated as far as naming is
concerned. They call us "Oh-Bei-Jin" = European-American-Person(s).

Anyway, I had hoped to learn something about whether or not LISP has
future. Is there anyone who could post a summary with that focus ?

thanks
Benjamin

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Thu, 17 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?

Quote:

>Anyway, I had hoped to learn something about whether or not LISP has
>future. Is there anyone who could post a summary with that focus ?

I fail to see how LISP is dying.  With the likes of EMACS and GIMP, at the
very least, it will find application as a scripting language at a minimum.
And then you have the LISP die-hards who, like their Forth cousins, will
write and actively use/support their own compilers/interpreters.

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Thu, 17 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?

Quote:

> >...the mistreatment of Native Americans by the Europeans...

> I can't quite reconstruct how the Topic "Is LISP dying?" could have
> possibly eveolved into the fate of Native Americans,

> however, it is quite interesting how things are being named ...

> The settlers who involved in disgraceful acts against humanity were
> referred to as "Europeans".

> Perhaps, if the subject was history to be proud of, these settlers would
> have been referred to as "Americans".

> This makes me wonder, when did the European settlers actually turn into
> Americans ?

The term was first used to refer to the colonists in the years just prior to
the American Revolution. Before then (when it was used, which was apparently
not common) it referred to the Native Americans.

Quote:
> Just wondering..., no offense intended.

> Here in Japan, where I live, we are equally treated as far as naming is
> concerned. They call us "Oh-Bei-Jin" = European-American-Person(s).

My understanding is that an accurate translation of that term is a bit less
flattering than that...

Quote:
> Anyway, I had hoped to learn something about whether or not LISP has
> future. Is there anyone who could post a summary with that focus ?

I can't do that, but I suspect that it will be around for quite a long time
to come in one form or another. Emacs Lisp or Guile for Gimp (and Gnome,
IIRC), which is a dialect of Scheme which is a descendant of Lisp, come to
mind.

Larry



Thu, 17 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?
[Anyone not interested in this off-topic excursion please move down one page]

Quote:
> The term was first used to refer to the colonists in the years just prior to
> the American Revolution. Before then (when it was used, which was apparently
> not common) it referred to the Native Americans.

I was more aiming at the fact, that they were called "Europeans" when they
did bad things, but probably "Americans" when they had done good things.

Quote:
> > They call us "Oh-Bei-Jin" = European-American-Person(s).

> My understanding is that an accurate translation of that term is a bit less
> flattering than that...

Your understanding is wrong then. The translation is literal:
"Oh" for Europe, "Bei" for America and "Jin" for Person(s).

The only flattening thing for you, perhaps is, that Europe comes first. ;-)

BEI actually means Rice (in form of harvested crop) but has in this form
turned into the meaning of America. This is because of the way you write
America in chinese characters AH-MEI-LI-KA. The only distinctive character
in there is MEI, BEI is a different pronounciation of that character (like
multiple bindings for a variable in a programming language). The form
nowadays used is short BEI-KOKU (Rice Country) for America. In China they
use the character "Beautiful", pronounced MEI instead of "Rice", which
also stems from AH-MEI-LI-KA, but this time the short form MEI-GUO means
"Country of Beauty".

When matching a foreign term to chinese characters the aim is always to
find characters that do not only resemble the pronounciation but also have
positive meanings. In Japan rice is a sacred commodity, the term rice
country for America is an honour, not flattening at all. Characters chosen
for other countries support this: England -> Brightness, Shining; France
-> Religious, Buddha;

Of particular interest in this context is the character for Germany. The
original character, which is still being used in China means Morality,
Virtue, Privilege. The new character used after a reform under American
occupation means: bureaucratic, self righteous and dictatorial depending
on context.

As you can see the "flattening influence" here was american ;-) but you
might perhaps argue that the Germans had deserved the loss of the
character Morality in their country's name, having started two world wars
and all the rest of it.

This is not intended an offense. I myself would probably have left the
Japanese their character for Germany, if just for the sake of
compatibility with Chinese.

************************************************************
Anyway, again trying to get back to the topic   L I S P  ...
************************************************************

What I would be interested to know the advocate's opinion on LISP is ...

- Will LISP "survive" in a commercial context ?

keywords: licensing problems with LISP images, LISP images reportedly
being too heavy (is this a myth ?) etc.
On the Macintosh for example I was interested in MCL but their licensing
policy, though it makes sense (Subscription based), is likely to put off
anyone but die hard users of the language.

- How competitive is LISP in terms of cross-platform portability ?

I believe the popularity of tools/languages like Perl or Java has to do to
quite some level with the fact, that you can find a "runtime system" for
almost any platform there is, even {*filter*} ones, that pretty much run your
code out of the box with very less or no porting effort.

- Is it easy to find code/docu for boring real-world commercial applications ?

Undoubtedly LISP has a great advantage four AI and Language
processing/design. How is it with public domain examples how to connect to
a telephone exchange and  receive call data records in ASN.1 or AMA, parse
them and turn them into billing records, or whatever other boring
commercial application there is - I picked one from my industry here.

I don't doubt that LISP as a programming language will survive (it has
already survived for longer than most other languages). I am not a
developer anymore, I am managing developers to come up with commercially
viable solutions in the telecom industry. I am taking LISP into
consideration as a tool, for two reasons

a) the solutions we provide move towards rule-based systems, that can
quickly be "reconfigured" via rule-sets, rather than recoding, which is
still the norm and makes telecom companies inflexible, the more they
bought from different vendors. Proprietary protocols are still the norm in
telecommunications. The rule-based approach seems as if LISP was a first
choice implementation tool.

b) I had close encounters with LISP back at university many many years
ago, in a math class and my being impressed lasts up to the day some 16
years or so later.

This may speak in favour of LISP as a piece of great technology, already.

However, what counts for survival is whether or not it is commercially viable.

That is what I would wish I could hear the opinion of the LISP advocay
about as one aspect for my decision making whether or not to base a
project such as a mediation system (call collection, validation,
conversion, optional pre- and post processing for billing, distribution to
billing) or a fraud management system (I assume I don't have to explain
what that does).

any comments appreciated

regards
Benjamin

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Thu, 17 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?

Quote:

> I can't quite reconstruct how the Topic "Is LISP dying?" could have
> possibly eveolved into the fate of Native Americans,

"dying" ?


Thu, 17 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?

Quote:

>I can't quite reconstruct how the Topic "Is LISP dying?" could have
>possibly eveolved into the fate of Native Americans,

        This is something which has left me amazed.

Quote:
>however, it is quite interesting how things are being named ...
>The settlers who involved in disgraceful acts against humanity were
>referred to as "Europeans".
>Perhaps, if the subject was history to be proud of, these settlers would
>have been referred to as "Americans".

        Actually, the fact that the discussion has been about the
settlers and Native Americans rather than the pioneers and Native
Americans places it into a period when the residents of, e.g., the
British colonies in North America considered themselves English
(Scots, Welsch, etc.) in America.

Quote:
>This makes me wonder, when did the European settlers actually turn into
>Americans ?
>Just wondering..., no offense intended.

        As Crazy Horse said, "my lands are where my dead lie buried".
Add the growing German immigration in the early 1700's, and the
growing numbers of second and third generation residents, and as
allegience to a distant European "mother country" waned, conditions
were ripe for the growth of American identity.

        At the very least, while the relationship between the European
settlers and Native Americans on the eastern seaboard were bad (most
American's don't even know what Prince Phillip's war was, and that in
per capita terms it was the {*filter*}ier than the Civil War), its seems
short odds that the later American pioneers were worse.  After all,
some partial official respect for treaties preventing the settlement
of the eastern Great Lakes was on  of the points of friction between
the mother country and the settlers.

        How does this tie in with Forth?  Is there a parallel in the
dilemma of outnumbered indigenous peoples whether to try to stand
alone (and possibly die out) or integrate (and possibly be lost in the
crowd), and the position of Forth?

        That's the only tie in I can see, since as far as I can tell
LISP aint dying.  Maybe its the fact that the original question was
relatively straightforward to handle that permitted the thread to
mutate in such a bizarre fashion.



Fri, 18 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?

Quote:
> >however, it is quite interesting how things are being named ...

> >The settlers who involved in disgraceful acts against humanity were
> >referred to as "Europeans".

> >Perhaps, if the subject was history to be proud of, these settlers would
> >have been referred to as "Americans".

>         Actually, the fact that the discussion has been about the
> settlers and Native Americans rather than the pioneers and Native
> Americans places it into a period when the residents of, e.g., the
> British colonies in North America considered themselves English
> (Scots, Welsch, etc.) in America.

That's what I thought at first. But then again, there were enough
references suggesting a post independence war period to be included and
certainly the killing of native Americans didn't stop with the US coming
into existence.

Perhaps it is convenient for Americans to call their European brothers for
help when shouldering the burden of their not so heroic parts of history.

Also, I would like to remind you that the notation "English (Scotts,
Welsh)" may have gotten you into trouble in the UK as it could be
construed as the Scotts and Welsh being part of the English, they
vehemently would dismiss any such idea, alternatively, they wouldn't like
to be placed in parentheses if the English seem to dominate over the
content. :-)

it's like writing "the Yankees (Canadians, Mexicans)..."

Quote:
>         How does this tie in with Forth?  Is there a parallel in the
> dilemma of outnumbered indigenous peoples whether to try to stand
> alone (and possibly die out) or integrate (and possibly be lost in the
> crowd), and the position of Forth?

Probably that is the message. Hopefully, the indians of the Forth and Lisp
tribes do not get wiped out this time around.

rgds
Benjamin

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Remove "nospam-" and ROT13 to obtain my email address in clear text.



Fri, 18 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Is LISP dying?

Quote:

>That's what I thought at first. But then again, there were enough
>references suggesting a post independence war period to be included and
>certainly the killing of native Americans didn't stop with the US coming
>into existence.

        Trying to impose perfect order on a newsgroup thread about
Ameircans and their ancestors killing Native Americans which began
with the question whether LISP is dying?

        Anyway, they'd be pioneers.  The settler's ``gifts'' to the
Native Americans proved to be the gifts that just kept on giving, and
giving and giving ... though the demographic decline has reversed in
most parts of North and South American in this century.

Quote:
>Perhaps it is convenient for Americans to call their European brothers for
>help when shouldering the burden of their not so heroic parts of history.

        The biggest demographic hit was earliest, as when any
substantially higher density = more disease riddled human population
runs up against a substantially lower density = healthier population.

Quote:
>Also, I would like to remind you that the notation "English (Scotts,
>Welsh)" may have gotten you into trouble in the UK as it could be
>construed as the Scotts and Welsh being part of the English, they
>vehemently would dismiss any such idea, alternatively, they wouldn't like
>to be placed in parentheses if the English seem to dominate over the
>content. :-)

        Certainly more accurate for the 1600s than for the 1700s.
Certainly the 1700s are when a lot of the Scots Irish came over.

Quote:
>it's like writing "the Yankees (Canadians, Mexicans)..."

        More like Yankees (Southerners, Texans).  It should have been
written ENglish & Scottish & Welsh.  Apologies all around.  Like I
want Sean Connery on my case!

Quote:
>>         How does this tie in with Forth?  Is there a parallel in the
>> dilemma of outnumbered indigenous peoples whether to try to stand
>> alone (and possibly die out) or integrate (and possibly be lost in the
>> crowd), and the position of Forth?

>Probably that is the message. Hopefully, the indians of the Forth and Lisp
>tribes do not get wiped out this time around.

(
----------
Virtually,

Bruce McFarling, Newcastle,

)



Fri, 18 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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