strangest systems I've sent email from

Swift Griggs swiftgriggs at
Mon Apr 25 12:00:20 CDT 2016

On Mon, 25 Apr 2016, Liam Proven wrote:
> Wow.  That is really remarkably narrow-minded and I'm not even slightly
> surprised that you've had some strongly negative reactions already.

I'm not either.  LISP fans act like it's a "cause", not a language.  I 
wasn't even attacking LISP, really.  Just saying it wasn't going to land 
me a job in the 80's or 90's, at least not a job I wanted (ie..  outside 
academia).  I'm sure someone somewhere used LISP to write something useful 
at some point. That's not my point. I just knew that if they didn't focus 
on C or C++, I was going to be eating cat food in my part of the country, 
because in podunk cow-ville, nobody gave a hoot about college profs 
hand-waving about the spiritual meta programming beauty in LISP.  They had 
work to do in other languages, and I wanted that work.

It feels more to me like every time someone says anything negative about 
LISP, the adherents want to punish them personally for it's failure to 
catch on big.  Wow.  Calm down.  There is probably a great deal more 
Microsoft ASP code out there versus LISP.  It doesn't mean that ASP is a 
great language or that it's "better" (argumentum ad populum). It means 
that it caught on (for whatever crazy reason).  So, the point is that the 
masses don't often pick "great" languages to fixate on.  IMHO, Just 
because I point that out, doesn't make me "foolish, ignorant, narrow 
minded, or short-sighted"

> While I personally find Lisp to be unreadable, nonetheless, it's enabled
> people to do some wholly remarkable things, and it certainly seems to
> deserve all the plaudits it has received.

It might seem that way to you, but not to me.  I can find just as many 
folks who are critical (many luminaries or folks involved with the creation 
of new LISP dialects, too).  There are 210,000 results for "LISP sucks" on 
Google, and I can paste in the first couple of links, too.  What does that 
prove ? The utility of a language is totally in eyes of the observer and 
the hands of it's skilled users.

> Oberon "not commercially viable"?  That's a remarkably foolish, 
> short-sighted and ignorant thing to say.

Well, thanks for being so nice about it.  Well, here's me, foolishly going 
to double down and say:

1.  Oberon isn't Pascal.  It's very similar, but not the same.

2.  Oberon wasn't commercially viable.  Pascal was.  Simple as that.

So, if I said I didn't like BCPL should I expect everyone who codes in C to
have a similar apoplexy just because the languages are tied in a successor
relationship ? 

> And you do know what Apple MacOS was originally written in, don't you?

Yes, I'm well aware that MacOS previous to X was Pascal-centric.  Pascal was
definitely commercially viable, and by extension; so is Delphi.  I actually
like(d) the language, too.

> I wrote about Oberon myself recently:

Hmmmmm.  Are you sure your personal interest in the topic hasn't pushed you
to be a little sensitive about it ? 


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