From: Jeffrey Jacobs
Subject: Ignorance (was FORTRAN,ADA)
Message-ID: <4790@well.UUCP>
Skef Whorley writes:

>>To quote Dick Gabriel, the "father of Common LISP":

> Funny that he goes on to quote a man who is profiting from the
> commercial viability that, earlier, he asserts doesn't exist.  Also,
> Gabriel is "a father" of CL, not "the father." 

The "father of Common LISP" quote is from Lucid's latest round of advertising;
maybe if you read something besides your own code and the network, you'd
be aware of such things.

> Sorry, JJacobs, but you're just not very well informed.

Same to you (see above) :-)

The fact that Lucid is making a profit from CL does not make it commercially
viable; take a look at how well LMI and Symbolics are doing.  Also, try to find
out just how much TI is making from the Explorer series.  Take a look at
what has happened to Inference, Carnegie and Intellicorp.  Not to mention
poor Xerox.

As I point out, and you ignore, there is little demand other than from the
military/academic arena, which is pretty well saturated at this point.  I suggest
you stay at CMU; the job market for Lisp programmers is pretty tight these days.

>The reason a lot of applied AI and
>expert systems work is being done in other languages has little to do
>with Common Lisp...
>When the cost of such
>things as software maintenance and delivery vehicles for "AI" systems is
>important, C can often beat Lisp hands down. 

I see; the enormous cost of developing and delivering in Common Lisp have
nothing to do with this.  These syntax and semantics of other languages
 are simply better suited to this type of work.(???!?!?)

>Exploratory programming is what Lisp is all about

So what do we need CL for (other than to keep DARPA happy)?  If LISP is
primarily for "exploratory" purposes, then imposing these limits on everybody
is counterproductive.

Summing up your arguments, if cost, maintainability and portability are so
desireable, everybody should use C instead!

> If all had
>proceeded undisturbed, there might be several beautiful Lisps by now,

Sounds better than one big ugly Lisp!

Charles Hedrick writes:

>I'd like to see a Lisp which is practical to
>use for things other than large AI programs running on huge machines.

I  agree with Mr. Hedrick; it's a dream that I've tried to promote for going
on 15 years.  But apparently it won't happen in this country.  Perhaps the
Europeans will succeed.  Think of Common Lisp as the gas guzzling, chrome
behemoths produced by the American auto industry...

 Jeffrey M. Jacobs
 CONSART Systems Inc.
 Technical and Managerial Consultants
 P.O. Box 3016, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
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