[r6rs-discuss] Now, where were we?
lord at emf.net
Sun Feb 22 17:43:32 EST 2009
On Sun, 2009-02-22 at 13:14 -0800, Brian Harvey wrote:
> How can any Lisper feel that the REPL is just an
> afterthought? In retrospect I think this is the technical issue that
> /should have been/ the metaphor for the future direction.
I think it became not the metaphor in no small
part because of an overarching sense of civility.
Many of us each tend to be heavily invested in
one but not the other of batch vs. interactive
interpretations and that "oh, the compiler
guys are taking over" meme is out there. So, it's
harder to talk about that one, at this juncture,
without dragging it down into imputations about
one another's motives, etc.
> But the one
> about case sensitivity comes from the same roots, maybe. It's about
> whether a concern for sharing code with someone far away (not necessarily
> far away from some English-speaking country, just far away from oneself,
> I hasten to add, lest this be read as Anglocentric) outweighs the freedom
> to write in one's own vernacular.
For some of us it's about "what's elegant". For others,
it's about "what's unicode want". For others its about
"what about my sunk costs based on earlier revisions".
For others its about the politics of a potential international
technocracy that transcends the Westphalian state system
It's some mix of stuff like that.
> Perhaps this is childish. Indeed, that was my own reaction to Steven Levy's
> book _Hackers_, in which he talks about "the hacker ethic"; I argued that
> raising Stu Nelson's destruction of Russell Noftsker's screwdriver to a
> matter of principle was absurd, even though I liked Stu and hated Russell.
> I thought Levy should have said that the AI Lab hackers (among whom I was
> a very minor light) had an attitude appropriate to the young, whereas
> Noftsker was almost a parodic exaggeration of a grownup. (I am now 59
> going on 17. :-)
I had to look that one up.
It should have been easier to fix Nelson, back then.
Fake a thing where there appears to him to be an
emergency calling for said screwdriver, for which
someone who is a fast runner is dispatched, only to
return shouting and waving around the damn "Used Up"
For something at that level - I think if Nelson wound up
crying a little bit the correction might not have
gone too far - so long as all the responsible types
doing it were very, very confident that it was a tear
or two genuine recognition and regret rather than
tears of self-hatred or fear.
> But, you know, despite the aging of the baby boom, there are still a lot of
> adolescents, and they need a programming language, too. It shouldn't have
Yes, well... tomorrow is another day.
> So, maybe I'm all wet, but this is what I think. R6 represents the final
> victory of Russ over Stu, and I still think Stu and his gang contributed
> more to the world -- including the fact that Sussman and Steele were more
> like Stu than like Russ in their stance toward the world.
I like the analogy other than it gives Stu a little too
much benefit of the doubt. Per the account in the book -
whatever was actually real - Stu had a missed opportunity
to bridge the cultures there. The note should have said
"Sorry - bad accident / -Stu" and there should have been
an emergency-borrowed replacement there and the next day
he should have dropped down to Harvard Sq. or wherever the
nearest hardware store was and come back with a replacement.
The tools ethic of Russ ain't insane. Stu was being
all "ego" there (per the story).
Is the SC and the revised report series somebody's
screwdriver? Let's hear the case, if such is claimed.
> Sorry, this is a little incoherent, but I haven't had breakfast yet and I
> just waded through a huge accumulated mail backlog from overnight! :-)
Made sense-enough to me, I think.
> P.S. I also hear echos of Stu's voice in SICP, and of Russ's in HtDP,
> and I suspect that's relevant to the Future of Scheme also.
The stuff largely missnig from Levy is the intimacies
between the industrial-military-security complex and
the lab and that campus (and those hackers).
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