2009-02-27

emacs, FSF, RMS

2009-02-27

On Feb 27, 7:56 am, Alan Mackenzie wrote:
> [ Newsgroups: trimmed ]
>
> Hi, Xah!
>
> In comp.emacs Xah Lee wrote:
>
> > Richard Stallman, from my interaction with him in the past 2 years,
> > and some reading of his post in emacs dev, i'm starting to find him
> > very annoying.
>
> Don't worry about it. People have been finding RMS very annoying for
> several decades. ;-)
>
> > It appears to me, he's been sitting on his fat ass, completely out of
> > touch as a coder for at least 10 years, have basically no knowledge of
> > modern languages and technologies, but pushes and dictates his
> > politics.
>
> Well, he has this habit of being right about things, sometimes years
> before most people are even aware of them.

Alan, stop that mentality.

Richard Stallman, contributed to society in 2 significant ways. One is his coding, producing many major software, such as emacs, gcc, etc. The other, with far more greater impact, and is the reason he is remembered in human animal history, is the creation of FSF with its GPL.

His technical, coding, contribution is unquestionably a positive contribution. His “free” software movement is, however, questionable. The reason that society recognized this social contribution, is partly, if not significantly, due to the fact that he is successful in spreading his philosophy. For example, to illustrate, if Hitler was successful, today he would be a hero, leader, founder, as opposed to a criminal. As another illustration, if US lost the war to UK, then the “founding fathers” of US would be considered criminals today who got punished by death. In fact, many of the leaders in the US at the time is doing quite morally questionable things besides treason.

Richard Stallman, also did some morally questionable things before he started FSF. In one perspective, you can consider him a software criminal. Lucky for him that at the time there was no software law yet. Else, he'd be in jail before he had a chance to mouth his manifesto. So, in this perspective, he is someone who breaks the law, got dissed by MIT, got pissed, with vengeance he starts the FSF to recoup his ego.

The above is one perspective. A perspective neutral, where human animal's behavior is considered foremost sans a context of any particular moral system.

> > The FSF's insistence of signing of legal paper to accept code
> > contribution is one huge obstacle too, for whatever good or bad reasons
> > they need to do it.
>
> It's irritating, yes, but hardly a huge obstacle. It's necessary
> because, under USA law (so I'm told), a copyright lawsuit can only
> proceed with the active involvement of all copyright holders. The
> advantage, from your point of view, is that anytime anybody violates the
> copyright of your code, you've got the legal resources of the FSF to
> back you up.

The FSF requirement of legal paper signing is a significant problem for FSF's software to progress forward.

First, let's presume that it is something that needs to be done in order for FSF to protect GPL.

Now, imagine, there are 2 software A and B. In A, there are paper works going by postal mail, as parts of how A grow code. In B, there is no such.

Today, thanks to FSF, vast majority of open source software uses model B. Just look at all code at Google Code, SourceForge, or numerous other open source code depositories. Today, the internet age where people watch movies online and all sort of online transactions, the paper work and postal mail agreement model is a major time drain and impetus killing.

to help see this, imagine, if all Open Source software today, those hosted by Google Code, Source Forge, all linux development, or any code on emacswiki, requires a postal mail legal paper signing before the code can be published, then, to what degree do you think will slow down the progress? Can you now see?

So, now you see, GNU emacs's requirement for signing legal document thru paper mail is a significant obstacle for GNU emacs to progress.

I have thought about how to remedy this situation for few minutes yesterday, but didn't see any solution or conclusion. First, we presume that it is in fact necessary for the paper work, as FSF says so. Ok, then what can we do? I don't really know. If the paper work is necessary, and of course FSF is practically the only one to protect the GPL, in a sense allowing the thousands other open source or “free” software to progress freely without paperwork. It appears to me we hav run into a inherent “unsolvable” problem. I was thinking, perhaps GNU software can be considered as kinda sacrifice, by requiring the legal paper work in order to protect GPL for the whole open source community, but meanwhile sacrifice GNU software's progress due to the very paperwork bureaucracy... but this can't go on for long, because eventually GNU's software will become so bad that people all uses other's open source software, and if that is so, then FSF's GPL protection role will rot out too, because only a very small percentage of people is actually using FSF's “free” software...

The above paragraph is a bit of rambling. In any case, i do doubt the necessity for FSF to require the paper work. Maybe it was important in 1990s or earlier, but probably not today. I even question if it was necessary in the 1990s. For example, there was BSD's license. And there's also the much simpler “public domain” release. Arguably these does not propagate the concept behind FSF. (that is GPL, of which Richard says is “fighting fire with fire”.) But in any case, consider today, with huge participation of google, apple computer, and quite several large organization and commercial entities participating in open source projects in major ways, it is question today that even GPL itself, is needed at all. Richard has been successful in his ideal of software. Today, that is largely already achieved to the extend that such concept can benefit society. (see note below) So, in this perspective, FSF can in fact can today close shop and the existing opene source and “free” software world may not fare worse.

Note: in the above, i didn't even discuss whether OpenSource or “‘Free’ Software” concept is it itself good for society. There are many debates on this.

e.g.
• A Case Aganist OpenSources (A New Paradigm in Intellectual Property Law?) by Mathias Strasser, 2001. http://stlr.stanford.edu/STLR/Articles/01_STLR_4/article.htm

For me, i believe that “‘Free’ Software” idea is indeed a good idea, but not so much how Richard paints it. The gist is that, software is a piece of good, and by the very nature of software, it can be copied without much cost. So, the traditional copyright law, usually allowing one single copy, may not be of the best interest to human animals as a whole, long term. In “‘Free’ software” ideal, software industry more becomes a service oriented industry, where coders gets paid to modify and customize existing software. This is also arguably a better business model when compared with existing copyright software laws or practices, where app is sold as a some type of permission to use.

> > The guy who wrote aquaemacs emacs, from the few exchange .....
> > i don't find him much of a respectable person.
>
> [ .... ]
>
> > (it goddamn pains me that each time i need to mention his [somebody
> > else's] name and find the correct spelling, i have to go to my own
> > emacs page because he almost ****ing make it a point not to stick out
> > his name as authorship where he SHOULD, as a matter of publishing
> > ethic. (he probably think it is a modesty. LOL my ****ing ass.))
>
> [ .... ]
>
> > frequently, whenever i use some open source software, often am amazed
> > at what kind absolute idiot created the user interface.
>
> Looks like you're having a bad day. Cheer up, and think of that tiny
> minority of free software hackers who actually do a passable job. ;-)

No, i didn't have a bad day. I get very irritated by idiots, in the same sense most tech geekers gets irrigated by “dumb users” or how society is being “dumbed down”. It usually don't effect my mood. I enjoy teaching, and i enjoy fighting with socially ignorant tech geekers, or geekers who's IQ are too low or speak beyond their brain. On this point, you can see some explanation in the following article:

• (Knowledge + Love) / Disrespectfulness
http://xahlee.org/Netiquette_dir/disrespectfulness.html

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.emacs.help/msg/56f90095e7d6f201?hl=en

2009-02-26

is emacs modernization means Microsoft Notepad?

2009-02-26

On Feb 26, 12:57 am, Miles Bader wrote:
> There is ample room for people to discuss this evolution, but approaches
> that start with "first, toss out the existing user interface" aren't gonna fly.

Who said to toss out existing user interface, you?

Are you saying that i start my suggestion with “throw out existing UI”? If so, please point out where.

> Emacs isn't going to turn into a fancy notepad clone, regardless of what
> "modern" users may (think they) want...

In what way you imagine emacs is going to be a fancy Microsoft Notepad clone?

I've wrote the following suggestions on emacs modernization in the past 3 years:

• The Modernization of Emacs
http://xahlee.org/emacs/modernization.html

• Suggestions on Emacs's Scratch Buffer
http://xahlee.org/emacs/modernization_scratch_buffer.html

• Emacs's M-‹key› Notation vs Alt+‹key› Notation
http://xahlee.org/emacs/modernization_meta_key.html

• Emacs's Menu Usability Problem
http://xahlee.org/emacs/modernization_menu.html

• Emacs's Mode Line Modernization Suggestions
http://xahlee.org/emacs/modernization_mode_line.html

• Usability Problems With Emacs's Letter-Case Commands
http://xahlee.org/emacs/modernization_upcase-word.html

• Suggestions on Emacs's mark-word Command
http://xahlee.org/emacs/modernization_mark-word.html

• Suggestions on Emacs's Line-Cutting Commands
http://xahlee.org/emacs/modernization_fill-paragraph.html

• Emacs Should Adopt HTML To Replace Texinfo
http://xahlee.org/emacs/modernization_html_vs_info.html

• Emacs Should Support HTML Mail
http://xahlee.org/emacs/modernization_html_mail.html

• Emacs's HTML Mode Sucks
http://xahlee.org/emacs/emacs_html_sucks.html

which item, in which article, do you think that emacs is going to turn into Notepad clone?

is the suggestion of using modern standard shortcut set of X C V for Cut, Copy, Paste, of which Linux uses, means it is turning emacs to a fancy Notepad clone?

Is fixing emacs's confusing undo and no redo, that is periodically bitched by programer in blogs, considered making emacs into a Notepad clone?

Is the suggestion for a statistics based ergonomic keybinding design that are more faster to execute, easier on the fingers, and easier to remember, mean it is turning emacs to a fancy notepad clone?

is the suggestion of getting rid of *scratch* buffer, and introduce a command “New” with shortcut Ctrl+n, that creates new buffer anytime anywhere, which lets user create multiple scratch buffers defaulting to any mode and compatible for the rest of Linux's shortcuts, means it is a fancy Microsoft Notepad?

is the suggestion of changing notation from C- and M- to Ctrl+ and Alt+, such that it reflects the lable on the keyboard, and Richard Stallman agrees may be a good idea, means it's Notepad?

is the suggestion of supporting html mail, and interface to gmail out of the box, means it's becoming Microsoft Notepad?

is it simply the fact that making things easier to use, means kissing Microsoft's ass?

Is the open source Firefox, and Google's extremely advanced technologies and easy to use applications such as gmail, google map, google earth, google code, all becoming Microsoft Notepad clone?

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.emacs.help/msg/0bd4b3a6e710c25c

dynamic scope vs lexical scope

2009-02-26

On Feb 24, 12:35 pm, "J. Winter" wrote:
> Is there anything really important to loose if you use only lexical
> scope such as in scheme. (I've been learning CL again after twenty years.)

the short answer is, no.

tech geekers make a lot fuzz about scope. In general, the more smattering knowledge they have about compilers, the more stupid their opinion becomes about languages.

For a explication of scope monster, see the section:
The Rise of “Access Specifiers” (or, the Scoping Complexity of OOP)

in

• What are OOP's Jargons and Complexities
http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/t2/oop.html

Here's a plain text excerpt:

---------------------------------------------

The Rise of “Access Specifiers” (or, the Scoping Complexity of OOP)

In programing, a variable has a scope — meaning where the variable can be seen. Normally, there are two basic models: dynamically scoped and lexically scoped. Dynamic scoping is basically a time based system, while lexical scoping is text based (like “what you see is what you get”). For example, consider the following code:

subroutine f() {return y}
{y=3; print f();}

In dynamic scoping, the printed result is 3, because during evaluation of the block all values of y is set to 3. In lexical scoping, a undefined “y” is printed because the two “y” in the code are considered different because they are in separate blocks of curly brackets. With regards to language implementation, Dynamic Scoping is the no-brainer of the two, and is the model used in earlier languages. Most of the time, lexical scoping is more natural and desired because it corresponds to the code as it appears.

Scoping is also applicable to subroutines. That is to say, where subroutines can be seen. A subroutine's scope is usually at the level of source file (or a concept of a module/package/library), because subroutines are often used in the top level of a source file, as opposed to inside a code block like variables.

In general, the complexity of scoping is really just how deeply nested a name appears. For example see in the following code:

name1; // top level names. Usually subroutines, or global variables.
{
name2 // second level names. Usually variables inside subroutines.
{
name3 // deeper level names. Less often used in structured programing.
// sometimes used in nested loops
}
}

If a programing language uses only one single file of commands in sequence as in the early languages such as BASIC, there would be no scoping concept. The whole program is of one single scope.

OOP has created a immense scoping complexity because its mode of computing is calling nested subroutines (methods) inside subroutines (classes). We detail some aspects in the following.

In OOP, variables inside subroutines (class variables) can also be accessed thru a reference the subroutine is assigned to (that is, a object). In OOP parlance: a variable in a class has a scope, while the same variable when the class is instantiated (a objet) is a different scoping issue. In other words, OOP created a new entity “variable thru reference” that comes with its own scoping issue. For example:

class a_surface() {
coordinates={...}; // a variable
...
}

class main {
mySurface = new a_surface();
mySurface.coordinates = {...}; // accessing the “same” variable
}

In the above code, the variable “coordinates” appears in two places. Once as defined inside a_surface, and once as a instantiated version of a_surface (a object). The variable as thru the object reference apparently has a entirely different scoping issue than the same variable inside the subroutine (class) definition. The question for OOP language designers is: what should the scope be for variables referred thru objects? Lexically within the class the object is created? Lexically within the class the variable is defined?? globally? (and what about inherited classes? (we will cover OOP inheritance later))

As we've seen, methods are just inner-subroutines, and creating objects to call methods is OOP's paradigm. In this way, names at the second-level programing structure often associated with variables (and inner-subroutines), is now brought to the forefront. This is to say, the scoping of subroutines are raised to a level of complexity as the scoping of variables. (they are now both in the 2nd level of names (or deeper).)

Further: In a class definition, variables are lexically scoped. But the ability for a object to refer/change a class variable is essentially a model of dynamic scope. Thus, OOP created a complexity of mixing these 2 scoping models.

All in all, the scoping complexities of OOP as applied to different OOP entities (classes, class variables, class's methods, object variables and methods) is manifested as access specifiers in Java. In Java, access specifiers are keywords “private”, “protected”, “public”, used to declare the scope of a entity. Together with a default scope of no-declaration, they create 4 types of scope, and each of these keywords has entirely different effects depending whether they are used on a variable, a method, a constructor, or a class.

See this tutorial of Java's access specifiers for detail: Java's Access Specifiers.


Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



On Feb 24, 1:12 pm, Kaz Kylheku wrote:
> On 2009-02-24, J. Winter wrote:
>
> > Is there anything really important to loose if you use only lexical
> > scope such as in scheme.
>
> There is something important lost if the programming language only supports
> lexical scope.
>
> You don't lose anything by only using lexical scope, if lexical scope solves
> your problem, and lends an adequate expressiveness to your solution.
>
> Dynamic scope gives us an alternate way to invisibly pass an indefinite number
> of parameters to a function

what a idiocracy.

i do wonder, if any reputable computer scientist would blub out such idiotic things as this thread's lispers have been.

Let me give a lucid account on the gist of dynamic scope and lexical scope.

Dynamic scope, is when computers are still slow (1960s, 1970s), there's no such thing as so-called “computer science” yet, and mathematicians at the time have little idea what they are doing on the computers.

When after a few decades, mathematicians got some whiff of the math of computer languages, lexical was born. But by this time, mathematicians have gone. What's left are so called computer scientist, typically morons.

From a mathematical and practical perspective, everything about dynamic scope is just global vars. Like closure, there's nothing useful these things add from practical software developement perspective.

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.lisp/msg/ffd27da9e753b851

emacs progress problem

2009-02-26

Hi Drew,

On Feb 26, 10:24 am, "Drew Adams" wrote:
> > If people think this is a problem, please perhaps file a
> > bug report to FSF. (Alt+x report-emacs-bug)
>
> Why not `M-x report-emacs-bug' yourself, rather than ask others to do so?
> Quicker, and just as effective.

I did yesterday.
See
http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.emacs.bug/browse_frm/thread/a359eb663d991317

> > There are many diverse solutions [better ways to show ^L]
> > on the web, but they need to become part of emacs out of
> > the box.
>
> Filing an enhancement request through a bug report is one way to try to improve
> vanilla Emacs, but discussion about such requests is typically more limited and
> less fruitful than discussion in emacs-de...@gnu.org.
>
> Reasons: (1) more people subscribe to emacs-devel, (2) people tend to look to
> bug-gnu-em...@gnu.org for bug reports, not for enhancement requests, (3)
> enhancement requests are sometimes forgotten, even if not overlooked initially.

Thank you for the thoughtful and long reply about this.

I'll consider subscribing to the emacs dev mailing list.

> Wrt prettifying ^L in vanilla Emacs: I proposed that to emacs-devel years ago.
> Here are some relevant threads: http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-devel/2006-12/msg00464.html http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-devel/2004-12/msg01035.html
>
> And here's a related thread from 2004 about the describe-mode problems: http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-devel/2004-05/msg00275.html

Nice.

I suppose the past effort on this issue went to wish-list heaven. LOL.

Richard Stallman, from my interaction with him in the past 2 years, and some reading of his post in emacs dev, i'm starting to find him very annoying. It appears to me, he's been sitting on his fat ass, completely out of touch as a coder for at least 10 years, have basically no knowledge of modern languages and technologies, but pushes and dictates his politics.

The FSF's insistence of signing of legal paper to accept code contribution is one huge obstacle too, for whatever good or bad reasons they need to do it.

... the more i look into the emacs improvement issue, the more i start to think forking is almost the only way. The Mac world really did great job, with Aquamacs emacs and Carbon emacs, and precedent ports, but ultimately mac is less than 5% of market share that puts a upper bound on what it can do to influence the emacs community, even if extremely successful. (to my chagrin, most emacs regulars here, i realized thru discussion in the past 2 years, that they know almost nothing about the social situation of emacs on the Mac.) The mac emacs community, due partly also to political reasons, are quite separate from other main emacs community. (having their own mailing list etc) So, cross communication don't happen much. This is partly due to the FSF and Richard Stallman's politics and Apple's Mac commercial background. The guy who wrote aquaemacs emacs, from the few exchange i had with him in 2008 or 2007 while i subscribed to the mac emacs list, i don't find him much of a respectable person. He, incessantly ask for donation, behaves in a nice politician way, and seems to behave in a way so that he is the only person to lead a modern emacs. (you can check the aquaemacs emacs source code to see some element of his stance) When i discussed with him about modernization, he seems to dismiss and badmouth it, yet implements all the ideas himself, and confine it to the Mac community as much as possible.

There's Lennart Borgman's emacsw32. I haven't had a windows machine since about 2006, so i haven't got into that community. I think it is a viable and powerful road to a modern emacs, simply due to the fact it is for Windows and has a usable out-of-box binary download. One major problem is that Lennart considered the emacsw32 as some type of emacs add-on, as opposed to “Download here and use right away”. Its home page is complex with philosophies and patches and multiple explanations and technicalities. So, basically, emacsw32 becomes something for existing emacs users only.

Lennart is on the emacs dev mailing list. One of his philosophy about emacs is that the Alt key should be compatible with Window's standard behavior (it invokes menu). This is a great stance, but is at odds with the typical emacs fanatics. Lennart is also a quite type of guy. (it goddamn pains me that each time i need to mention his name and find the correct spelling, i have to go to my own emacs page because he almost fucking make it a point not to stick out his name as authorship where he SHOULD, as a matter of publishing ethic. (he probably think it is a modesty. LOL my fucking ass.)) I presume his role in the emacs dev community is suppressed by the situation into another insignificant odd-ends emacs variations creator and wish-list maker.

----

frequently, whenever i use some open source software, often am amazed at what kind absolute idiot created the user interface. And you constantly hear the linux fanatics incessantly discuss and fight about how to improve their usability for the masses yet going nowhere. Linux, a free product, with its desktop(S) has been around since 1998 with huge brouhaha in mainstream media, today, it is still some 2% user base. What a fat ass to ridicule upon.

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.emacs.help/msg/ba601f6d5a4a7606

2009-02-25

emacs, bug report, piss fight

2009-02-25

Xah wrote:

• Usability Problems Of Emacs's Mode Documentation
http://xahlee.org/emacs/modernization_mode_doc.html

If people think this is a problem, please perhaps file a bug report to
FSF. (Alt+x report-emacs-bug)

There are many diverse solutions on the web, but they need to become
part of emacs out of the box.

On Feb 25, 11:50 am, Teemu Likonen wrote:
> Why "please perhaps file a bug report" when you can do it yourself?

I already did. If you see this as a valid point, it'll help. Because, often, the emacs dev will just think Xah is this weird guy and can be ignored of his lone voice.

People always just fight than doing anything useful.

In the past 10 years, whenever i wrote some criticism on various lang or tech, the in-community retort “why don't you file bug report”, or “why don't you contribute code”, or argue non-stop about some philosophy or point of view. Usually, its not about the validity of the criticism, it's more about politics and piss fight.

In the past 2 years, i filed some 30 or so bug reports to FSF on emacs. I try to refrain opinion based reports or UI based ones, because i know these are controversial. Because otherwise the fuckheads will start to say i spam.

Btw, the result of almost all UI ones i reported are either put on the wish list or dismissed.

In this thread, there are already lots of arguments.

> In open-source world there is this thing called "scratch your own itch". If
> you scratch it well and produce good enough code it might even be
> integrated to Emacs upstream.

Shut ya pizza hole.

I recommend:

• The Bug-Reporting Attitude
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/bug_report_attitude.html

• What Desires Are Politically Important?
http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/_p2/russell-lecture.html

• On Microsoft Hatred
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/mshatred155.html

• Responsible Software Licensing
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/responsible_license.html

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/

emacs display of page break char

2009-02-25

Xah wrote:

• Usability Problems Of Emacs's Mode Documentation
http://xahlee.org/emacs/modernization_mode_doc.html

On Feb 25, 7:04 am, "Drew Adams" wrote:
> > > * Get rid of convention of using ^L (ascii 12) for page break
> > > marker.
>
> > Is there a way to draw a sort of horizontal line for the ASCII 12
> > symbol instead of printing "^L"? I'm talking about X version.
>
> Yes.
>
> Code: http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/pp-c-l.el
> Description: http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/PrettyControlL
>
> You can customize the appearance.
> The screenshot shows the default appearance.

Thanks Drew and others.

I have currently these code:

;; code by Kevin Rodgers. 2009-02-25
(defun describe-major-mode ()
"Show inline doc for current major-mode."
(interactive)
(describe-function major-mode))

;; display page delimiter “^L” as a horizontal line. Code by S├ębastien Vauban. 2009-02-25
(or standard-display-table
(setq
standard-display-table (make-display-table)))
(aset standard-display-table ?\f (vconcat "\n" (make-vector 60 ?-) "^L\n"))

;; Display the “^L” page break mark as a horizontal line
;; from http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/OverlayControlL , 2009-02-25
;; code by Andre Riemann
(add-hook
'after-change-major-mode-hook
(lambda ()
(font-lock-add-keywords nil
`((,page-delimiter ;; variable with the regexp (usually "^\f" or "^^L")
0
(prog1 nil
;; don't display ^L
(compose-region (match-beginning 0) (match-end 0) "")
;; make an overlay (like in hl-line)
(let ((pdl (make-overlay (line-beginning-position)
(line-beginning-position 2))))
;; :background has to be different from the background color
;; gray1 here is just a little different from black
(overlay-put pdl 'face '(:underline "gray30" :background "gray1"))
(overlay-put pdl 'modification-hooks
;; these arguments are received from modification-hooks
'((lambda (overlay after-p begin end &optional length)
(delete-overlay overlay))))
(overlay-put pdl 'insert-in-front-hooks
'((lambda (overlay after-p begin end &optional length)
(delete-overlay overlay)))))) t)))))

(haven't tried Drew's PrettyControlL, the Andre code i just tried first)

If people think this is a problem, please perhaps file a bug report to FSF. (Alt+x report-emacs-bug)

There are many diverse solutions on the web, but they need to become part of emacs out of the box.

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.emacs.help/msg/529844e52d594f32

emacs image display zoom

2009-02-25

On Feb 25, 4:48 am, S├ębastien Vauban wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I view more and more image files from within Emacs, be it from a
> Dired buffer, or as an attachment in a mail that I view in Gnus.
>
> My problem is: how can we zoom (out, mainly) the picture?
>
> It doesn't seem to be any way to do so in the `image-mode'.
> Though, it should be possible as similar functions already have
> been implemented for the `doc-view' package. Is there a package
> I should know of, that would take care of adding zooming
> commands when viewing buffers with pictures?

i have no idea how zoom can be implemented as shown in typical image viewers. I suppose it's recompute the bitmap and redisplay.

Note that in many browsers, Opera for example, you can zoom the whole page. (i.e. not the same as changing font size) This feature is in Mathematica IDE too (aka Frontend), since early 1990s.

i doubt this feature could easily fit into emacs, probably require huge coding effort to its core.

as a workaround, you could have elisp wrapper that call image magic to create a resized file as temp and display that.

e.g.
convert -scale 50% girl.jpg girl-s.jpg

you could also call “identify” to get the image dimension first, then some function in emacs to get the emacs window size, so that you can use the proper scale factor to make the image fit to window.

here's a elisp that gets img dimension in pure elisp

(defun get-image-dimensions (img-file-relative-path)
"Returns a image file's width and height as a list."
(let (tmp dimen)
(clear-image-cache)
(setq tmp
(create-image (concat default-directory img-file-relative-path)))
(setq dimen (image-size tmp t))
(list (car dimen) (cdr dimen))
)
)

probably best just to view it in a dedicated image viewer. You can easily write a elisp so that pressing a button shows the image in a external app. (i suppose this is already in image-mode?)

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.emacs.help/msg/a7bff8bd2d2e584f

emacs usability problem

2009-02-25

On Feb 25, 5:13 am, Xiao-Yong Jin wrote:
> the good old Emacs way

Let me give some examples of how many of the emacs's ways are technically inferior. Some, to a degree that's outright stupid. The reason, most emacs users, didn't see this, because over all emacs is above all others, especially in the 1990s, and with that developed a emacs cult. So, the perception becomes black & white, namely: emacs way, or stupid way.

here's some example of emacs that are technically inferior.

-------------

• Why Emacs's Keyboard Shortcuts Are Painful
http://xahlee.org/emacs/emacs_kb_shortcuts_pain.html

Excerpt:

See also, a newsgroup post on “comp.emacs”. “Re: effective emacs” (2008-06-01) by Daniel Weinreb. http://groups.google.com/group/comp.emacs/msg/0342e0bc1aa05c0d.

Xah wrote:
«Emacs's default cursor moving shortcuts are “Ctrl+f”, “Ctrl+b”, “Ctrl
+n”, “Ctrl+p”. The keys f, b, n, p are scattered around the keyboard
and are not under the home row.»

Daniel wrote:
That's true. At the time Guy Steele put together the Emacs default
key mappings, many people in the target user community (about 20
people at MIT!) were already using these key bindings. It would
have been hard to get the new Emacs bindings accepted by the
community if they differed for such basic commands. As you point
out, anyone using Emacs can very easily change this based on
their own ergonomic preferences.

Daniel is supposed to be the oldest emacs user.

-------------------

• The Modernization of Emacs
http://xahlee.org/emacs/modernization.html

Excerpt:

«
Emacs's ways are technically superior. It should not change.

Emacs's user interface, when compared to modern software application's user interface, is complex and unusual, however, there's no basis whatsoever of it being actually a superior design with regards to any sensible metrics. (in fact, much of emacs's user interface are due to historical reasons. That is, how computers are in 1980s.)

For example, let's consider emacs's system of keyboard shortcuts. For a keyboard shortcut system, we might judge its quality based on several aspects. Here are some examples of consideration:

* Is it easy to learn? (is it familiar to most people? Is it easy to remember?)
* Is it ergonomic? (Are most frequently used command's keyboard shortcuts easy to type? Are more frequently used commands have easier to type shortcuts than less frequently used commands?)
* Are most frequently used commands all have a keyboard shortcut?
* Is the shortcut system somehow consistent and extensible?

Emacs's keyboard shortcuts system, is good only with respect to the last item. Emacs keyboard shortcuts are perhaps one of the most difficult to learn among software, and is also one of the most difficult to remember. The worst aspect of emacs's keyboard shortcuts, is that it is ergonomically painful. (Many emacs-using programer celebrities have injured their hands with emacs. (e.g. Richard Stallman, Jamie Zawinski, Ben Wing), and emacs's Ctrl and Meta combinations are most cited as the major turn-off to potential users among programers)

Computer keyboard is a hardware interface, and the mapping of commands to the key press combinations can be considered from a Operation Research (ergonomic) point of view. The keyboard hardware itself can be designed with consideration of ergonomics (that's why we have split and curved keyboards), but consideration of what functions to map to what key presses is also non-trivial if the software has large number of functions, or if the software is mission critical, or the software is used for repetitive, long durations of human-machine interaction (such as data-entry, programing, writing). Think of it this way: consider a airplane cockpit, filled with knobs, dials, buttons, and switches. Now, if your job is to map the airplane control functions to these switches, what are the issues to consider?

If we take careful consideration on creating a keyboard shortcut system for emacs, it is not difficult to create a system that is superior in some pure technical sense than the emacs's shortcut system.

For some detail, see: Why Emacs's Keyboard Shortcuts Are Painful.

Aside from keyboard shortcuts system, other user interface aspects of emacs are also questionable. For example, one major aspect of emacs operation is that it uses a single window for multiple purposes and files. Emacs is this way not because of a design decision, but rather due to historical reasons. Computer resources in the 1980s are very limited. When emacs is around, graphical system of showing “windows” is not practically available, and the emacs's method of using the screen (the monochrome text-only monitor) for presenting multiple tasks (“buffers”) is actually a very advanced user interface design not available in software of that era. When graphical systems becomes practical in the 1990s, drawing a window still takes a lot memory, and opening multiple windows is slow and impractical.

Modern software interface (say, post 2000) usually uses one window per file (or task), and or show tabs if multiple tasks are represented in a single window. However, emacs's buffer system doesn't provide the tabs visual clue. Compared to the modern standard of tabbed window, emacs's buffer interface is inferior because it is less intuitive. Arguably, emacs's operation methods may be more efficient for expert users. 20 years ago, efficiency for expert users may out weight the ease of use for majority of average users. But in today computing era, computers are standard tools in every household, efficiency and ease of use for general users is as important for professional users. Even for professional users, it is openly questionable that emacs's ways of operation induced by its default user interface allows more efficient operation than a user interface based on modern software conventions. (this can be tested by having 2 team of programmers roughly equally experienced or skilled in using emacs. One team use Emacs with default UI setup, the other use a emacs with modernized interface (such as Mac's Aquamacs), then compare their efficiency in finishing a set of coding tasks.)
»

----------------------------

the emacs cult induced black & white mentality is harmful. When in online discussion, whenever some aspect of emacs is criticized that is unique to emacs, the emacs users just see “Emacs Way” vs “Microsoft way”, and therefore they think the only way is emacs way. It needn't be that way. Certainly the emacs's system is great and made it last over about 3 decades, but many aspects can adopt modern UI for the better, while not taking away any advantage of emacs.

over the past 3 years i've spent a lot time on this and written a lot detailed account. One latest one is about emacs's menus. See:

• Emacs's Menu Usability Problem
http://xahlee.org/emacs/modernization_menu.html

This is about emacs's menu. You'll see that it is full of usability problems. PS on this i sent to emacs bug report. So far no response.

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.emacs.help/msg/5521f86c80c5f0d5

lisp's cons and nested syntax problem

2009-02-25

On Feb 25, 3:34 am, nick_keighley_nos...@hotmail.com wrote:
> the nasty cons then only appears in a single function which
> you can hide in a library

I think the following answers that.

Q: If you don't like cons, lisp has arrays and hashmaps, too.

A: Suppose there's a lang called gisp. In gisp, there's cons but also fons. Fons are just like cons except it has 3 cells with 3 accessors: car, cbr, cdr. Now, gisp is a old lang, the fons are deeply rooted in the lang. Every some 100 lines of code you'll see a use of fons with its extra accessor cbr, or any one of the cbaar, cdabr, cbbar, cbbbar, etc. You got annoyed by this. You as a critic, complains that fons is bad. But then some gisp fanatics retorts: “If you don't like fons, gisp has cons, too!”.

You see, by “having something too”, does not solve the problem of pollution. Sure, you can use just cons in gisp, but every lib or other's code you encounter, there's a invasion of fons with its cbar, cbbar, cbbbar. The problem created by fons does not go away by “having cons too”.

above is from

• Fundamental Problems of Lisp
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/lisp_problems.html

---------

> I read it. Your point seems to be "cons becomes difficult
> with deeply nested structures". Could you give an example?

There are few examples in these articles:

• The Concepts and Confusions of Prefix, Infix, Postfix and Fully Nested Notations
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/notations.html

the above, 3rd section, gives detail about the problems of fully
nested syntax. In particular, it shows a source code snippet of language with fully nested syntax, but is not lisp, so that lispers can get a fresh impression.

• A Ruby Illustration of Lisp Problems
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/lisp_problems_by_ruby.html

the above, is a concrete example of showing how full nesting is cumbersome, by constrasting a simple program in Ruby and lisp.

• Why Lisp Do Not Have A Generic Copy-List Function
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/lisp_equal_copy_list.html

the above, shows the cons problem, by looking at Kent Pitman's article with a different perspective.

A short Plain Text Excerpt of the ruby article cited above follows.
------------------------------

More specifically, 2 fundamental problems of lisp i feel this ruby example illustrates well:

• the cons impedes many aspects of lists. e.g. difficult to learn, confusing, hard to use, prevent development of coherent list manipulation functions.

• nested syntax impedes the functional programing paradigm of function chaining, esp when each function has 2 or more arguments (e.g. map).

here's a short summary of the nesting problem:

(map f x) ; 1 level of chaining
(map g (map f x)) ; 2 levels
(map h (map g (map f x))) ; 3 levels

compare:

x | f | g | h ----> unix pipe
x // f // g // h ----> Mathematica
x.f.g.h -------> various OOP langs, esp Ruby, javascript

h @ g @ f @ x ----> Mathematica
h g f x -------> some functional langs, Haskell, Ocaml

The way the above works is that each of f, g, h is a lambda themselves
that maps. (that is, something like “(lambda (y) (map f y))”)

Note, that any of the f, g, h may be complex pure functions (aka lambda). Because in lisp, each lambda itself will in general have quite a lot nested parens (which cannot be avoided), so this makes any chaining of functions of 2 args, for more than 2 or 3 levels of nesting, unusable for practical coding. One must define the functions separately and just call their names, or use function composition with lambda (which gets complex quickly). One major aspect of this problem is that the scope of vars becomes hard to understand in the deep nested source code. This is worse in elisp, because emacs is dynamically scoped, so you have to avoid using var of same name.

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.lisp/msg/7ff0d1eec57dc919

2009-02-24

browser scene & emacs modernization

2009-02-24

News about the browser world
http://www.macworld.com/article/139022/2009/02/safari4firstlook.html?t=232

emacs really needs to keep up.

The IDE idea, from 1990s to 2000, basically reduced emacs market share from perhaps more than 50% in the early 1990s to maybe 1% today among professional programers.

emacs today has lots of problems. Many of the “emacs way”, are technically inferior. But the nice elisp system holds it back still.

The way for emacs to advance, is to get more people to use emacs. Emacs users today are already just the very small clique, half of which are perhaps over 40. With these small circle of people, every idea that's not “emacs way” gets stamped out.

Emacs 22 took a few major step, by having syntax highlighting on by default, and CUA mode as a option. Emacs 23 took it further, by having cursor move by visual line, and have highlight selection on by default. I presume that in emacs 24 might have CUA mode on by default... but these changes are happening quite late.

The emacs on the mac, in particular Aquamac emacs and Carbon emacs, did significant job in saving emacs from oblivion. There are a lot needs to be done, especially on the Windows platform because it is used by most people.

• The Modernization of Emacs
http://xahlee.org/emacs/modernization.html

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.emacs.help/browse_frm/thread/d44f472421bbcd2e

2009-02-21

tech geeker site; domain squatter girl

2009-02-18

What a motherfuck.

I have a link to Kenny page http://www. tilton-technology .com/

at

• Xah'sEmacs Tutorial: Acknowledgment
http://xahlee.org/emacs/thanks.html

I've always been picky on urls i choose to link from my website. Many
geeking fuck's site or homepage goes thru random disappearance, or
random garbage content, or fucking unreadable. Kenny has written some
noticeable software in Common Lisp, and his site got his own domain,
not some geocity fuck, so i thought it's safe.

However, today, i visited that site, and it shows a pretty girl's face
with random advertisement from domain squatters.

What the fuck is Kenny doing to my site's quality?

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



-------

2009-02-21

a little follow up on this.

Some info about that girl.

Photos
http://www.istockphoto.com/file_search.php?action=file&filetypeID=&userID=39198&text=hf7

sites using that photo (showing 285 results)
http://tineye.com/search/faae8525c0e4cb8bd6b90cb2a3a2452fadc4f9e5

the photographer seems to be Dustin Steller
http://stellerphoto.com/blog/

the photographer claims that the girl is her little sister.

Her name appears to be Hannah
http://flickr.com/photos/fiveloaves/2226718380/

info sources:
http://yousuckatwebsites.com/web-trends/the-most-infamous-girl-in-the-history-of-the-internet

http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/7z628/who_the_fuck_is_this_and_why_does_she_show_up_on/

info about the site her photo originated
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Istockphoto

PS domain squatters, seems to be making a lot money. Some, millions.

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.lisp/browse_frm/thread/61e03f21cfbec4c4

The Icicles Saga — A Tech Geeking Story

2009-02-21

The Icicles Saga — A Tech Geeking Story

I've heard Icicles mentioned few times a year since about 2006,
and the few times i tried to see what it is, spend 10 secs on the home
page, came away not knowing what it actually do, and left.

The incicle home page:
http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/Icicles

first, the name is not helping. What the fuck is “Icicles”?

Then, the page presents a extremely lousy logo, of a photograph of icicles.

The opening sentence goes:

“This page and its linked pages describe Icicles, an Emacs library that enhances minibuffer completion, that is, input completion. This page lists the main Icicles features and presents entry points to all of the Icicles doc.”.

So? What does it do?

Then, immediately following the first header of main features, you got this sound byte:

«“In case you never heard of it, Icicles is to ‘TAB’ completion what ‘TAB’ completion is to typing things manually every time.” [1]»

So, what the fuck does it do? Why do i need to hear this sound byte?

It is followed up by a long list 15 items, each with emacs tech jargons, technicalities, concepts, the like of input, match, cycle, imenu, multi, fuzzy matching, regexp. Description of its generalities, applications, and ends with “Have Fun”!

I don't want to fucking goddamn have fun. I want to spend 5 seconds to know what it can do for me, and how to install the fucking shit.

Then, in the “Obtaining and Installing Icicles” section, you are directed to another page, the icicles libraries file, at http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/Icicles_-_Libraries . You are told to get these files, then come back to run the install commands.

On that page, it is filled with one hundred knobs and links, with details about their relationships, requirement, optionality. Ok, so how do install the goddamn icicles which i smelled seems to improve command completion in a fancy way?

A minute on the page indicates that you probably need most of it. How do i get them all? Ok, it list 4 fucking third party ways. WHAT A MOTHER FUCK.

The first one, requires you to install icicles-install.el first. With its own “simple installation instruction” fuck.

The second one, it talks about a shell script i need to install first. Complete with thanks to whoever did it i don't need to fucking know.

The third option, is TWO zip files. Not one, but TWO. Why the fuck TWO? I don't mother fucking know, but it says it might be out of date. Fuck you.

The 4th option, bzr. What the fuck is bzr???

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.lisp/browse_frm/thread/ea2b0d96aae98a85

• emacs_icicles_saga.txt
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ2/emacs_icicles_saga.txt

2009-02-20

use of unicode, emacs doc, ascii kludge

2008-09-11

David Combs wrote:
> Xah-- question about the characters in your posts:
>
> If I or someone sees eg a url in one of your posts, and
> wants to go to that url (because you've suggested doing that,
> maybe), it's a little difficult to just cut-n-paste your string,
> what with all the extra control or whatever they are characters
> mixed in.
>
> What is that stuff, why is it there, and is it really necessary
> for you to include it.

The summation sign “∑” in my sig is my and my website signet.

in the end of my sig, there's this character “☄” (unicode name “comet”). It is there so that it forces groups.google.com and Apple Mail application into sending the message with unicode encoding. Otherwise, the heuristics'll typically pick Japanese encoding. (in google groups, last i checked about last year there's no way to set encoding. And in Apple Mail 2 years ago, there's no unicode encoding option... it is added now but last i checked there's no preference that can set encoding ... )

My use of curly quotes “ ” or other unicode chars are just convenience and practical need. I have in my emacs various easy ways to type them. The need to quote is for example, seen throughout gnu's docs, but they used a ascii kludge of backtick for left curly single quote and straight quote for right curly single quote, e.g. “`something'”. (quoting is needed for highlighting purposes or to make a phrase's semantic from normal interpretation in the sentence.)

Since about 2006, i find emacs's support of unicode very robust and i have no problem with these and other mathematical chars or chinese in emacs. In general, opensource langs and tools in e.g. linux world has much caught on and support unicode, and i think that is good. (commercial world long ago supported and use these chars in practice (e.g. Apple in early 1990s and Microsoft Windows since about WindowsNT 4 or Windows2000)) The OpenSource world typically has a lag of 5 to 10 years in catching up most desktop techs. Even today, there are still a few cave dwelling tech geekers you'll see occasionally complaint about unicode in posts (e.g. Alan M here insists that newsgroup posts should be in ascii only!). But thankfully these days you'll often see others tech geekers follow up chiding about the complainer like “dude, get a proper newsreader” ...

You FreeSoftware and OpenSource supporters really should move on and embrace unicode.

I have made few suggestions here and elsewhere in the past 2 years including several private exchanges with Richard Stallman, about updating emacs doc (and in general all GNU docs convention) to to use “” and ‘’ in place of painful and ugly and technically problematic and ambiguous ascii kludge `', among few other modernization issues... but in general it's met with extreme difficulty...

i've been wanting to file a emacs bug report on this particular issue ... but with so many resistance and my “troll” persona etc ... basically it's very discouraging ...

The problem with `' or ``'' is that:

• it's just 1980's ascii kludge to get around the fact there were no matching quotes in ascii. In some technical sense, it's misuse and abuse of symbols.
• it's ugly.
• it's ambiguous. The straight quote has many meanings, and both straight quote and backtick also has special meanings in elisp lang and in function's inline doc string.
• it is not possible to do a syntactical parse. (compare it to quoting with chars that are matching pairs.)

If you think there's some merit in this suggestion, please file a bug report. (menu “Help‣Send Bug Report...”)

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.emacs.help/browse_frm/thread/a272d87845efc639

http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ2/unicode_use.txt

emacs info obsolete

2009-02-20

On Feb 20, 9:00 am, Jens Thiele wrote:
> Xah Lee writes:
> > no time. The simple problem is that nobody uses it, excerpt maybe just
> > 100 core GNU fanatics around the world.
>
> I don't consider myself a fanatic and still I really like reference
> documentation in info format. The info browser in emacs is really nice -
> searching and navigating the documentation is fast and easy.
>
> jens

i too, find emacs info system fantastic. As far as i know, better than any other integrated system i'm familiar with. (possibly except Mathematica. Though, i know that for example Macintosh CodeWarior, ThinkPascal, etc IDE has simular features that are comparable, but i haven't used these much to confidently remark)

However, in the context of this thread, i don't support info, or support advancing it in anyway. Yes, it is great in emacs, but basically it is 1980's technology. Far advanced at its time, but today, it is fairly inferior comparative to other IDE's system such as Mathematica, or whatever is today's version of MCW, or perhaps Microsoft's VisualStudio)

For example, in other systems, it can include graphics, syntax coloring, multiple panes or tabs in the help system. Though, these are probably technically possible with info, but basically is not done and incompatible with info's nature.

as another example, many today's IDE integrated help system are based on HTML/XML and associated tech (javascript, DOM, css, etc). With these, its technical power is quite beyond what info can do. Such power include, for example, integration with the web, usable in browser too, post-processing with hundreds of tools, dynamic generation with hundreds of tools, interactivity with js or visualbasic and other langs etc. (just look at google's various services, such as gmail, blogger, google code, igoogle, google map etc.)

as another example, info's source is based on texinfo, with effectively one single tool. For html based ones, there are literally few hundred times more tools, in wide variety of languages, or user level applications, and few THOUSANDS times more developers.

texinfo and info, is basically outdated in many ways, technical and social, that it cannot support itself into the future. Though, it works great today still, but in coming years, if emacs insists on sticking with info today, it'll pose a problem. (as another example, unix man pages, which info and FSF intend to replace, are today basically already obsolete)

I would suggest, that emacs developers start to embrace html/xml, which is standardized system in the industry. Put aside the cultish thought that emacs info is superior, which ceased to be true since perhaps 2000.

emacs already has lots of packages that deals with html/xml. Muse, planner, org, all deal with documentation in some mark-down format that are oriented with html. Then there's nxml-mode which is today one of the most advanced system for xml, written by the well-known xml expert James Clark. There's also js2-mode, and ejacs by Steve Yegge, which is also very advanced. Each of these is over 10k lines in elisp.

if emacs dev put aside the “emacs way” mentality, there are many opportunities to advance emacs forward in major ways.

I'm not saying that we should ditch info or right away, just not insist on it. Embracing the above tech can easily pave a way that naturally replace info's role in emacs.

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



http://groups.google.com/group/comp.emacs/browse_frm/thread/27c3fabaadbec56d

2009-02-19

tech geeker ignorance of English

2009-02-19

On Feb 19, 10:17 am, Kaz Kylheku wrote:
> On 2009-02-19, maximinus wrote:
>
> > On Feb 19, 7:53 am,XahLee wrote:
> >> What a motherfuck.
> > What's the need for all the fucking bad language?
>
> Xah's boat from Taiwan ran aground in the wrong part of California, and he was
> put through a string of HHSL (hip hop as a second language) programs.

I found out today, that a Wikipedia article on the torture porn Cindy's Torment, has been removed. This is a story that sparked internet censorship in the 1990. I have now mirrored the article here: Wikipedia Article on Cindy's Torment.

• Wikipedia Article on Cindy's Torment
http://xahlee.org/p/cindys_torment_wikipedia.html

For some example of hip-hop vernacularity, used by some millions of people in their daily speech, see:

• Hip-Hop Rap and the Quagmire of (American) Blacks
http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/sanga_pemci/hiphop.html

The tech geeking morons, often claim that my postings are full of spelling errors. Though, often my online posting are sloppy, just like everybody else, fitting for such occasion and i haven't used a spell checker, but mostly it is these tech geeking idiot's English and linguistic ignorance. (the most often cited example is “programing” with a single “m”. If these moronic fuckheads actually would just look up a English dict.)

The thing about these tech geeking fuckheads is not that they are simply ignorant on particular subjects. If they don't know that programing can be spelled with single m, or other detailed matters of some particular subfield of linguistics, pragmatics, vernacularity, lingoes, jargons, journalism, etc, that's ok, because vast majority of educated people, including professional writers, grammarians and English teachers, are often ignorant of such esoteric subjects. (exception being the experts in such sub fields) Language are to be used, and if the writing quality fulfill its communication purpose reasonably well, it is good. However, the problem with this motherfucking tech geeking collection is that they speak as if they are the top experts; the type of loud idiots who are ignorant of their ignorance.

For more detail on this issue, see:

• Language and English
http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/bangu/bangu.html

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.lisp/browse_frm/thread/61e03f21cfbec4c4

2009-02-18

origin of the Richard Gabriel wikipedia article

2009-02-06

On Feb 6, 9:29 am, "Alex Mizrahi" wrote:
> XL>>> Note that Rainer is a Common Lisp fanatic.
> ??>>
> ??>> Note that Xah Lee is a troll and an idiot.
>
> J> Which is better, a troll or a fanatic?
>
> there are different sorts of trolls. Richard Gabriel [1], for example, often
> wrote
> very controversial things, so he is sort of troll, but he is very
> intelligent troll.
> on the other hand, Xah Lee often writes very stupid things.
>
> it does not matter if you're troll or fanatic if you're an intelligent
> person
> and write sane things.
>
> [1]:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Gabriel

Note that it is I, Xah Lee, who started the article on Richard Gabriel. You can check and trace the history there.

Let me talk a bit about the history of that article.

I won't be giving exact, accurate details, but rather just write from the top of my brain in a free flow fashion, but from what i wrote here, you can easily verify, correct the details, from the info i gave, with my main contention intact.

I started the article in 2005. I don't recall what impetus made me... i think at the time i was fighting with some motherfucking unix geeking opensource software-stealing youngster Wikipedia fuckheads on some articles about unix, such as X-windows, unix hater's handbook, or the so fucking called “unix philosophy” or was it the article on “worse in better”.

So, just to give a show of these fuckheads what i know (but hiddenly, instill the concept of lisp and a lisp dignitary Richard G), so i started the article. One of the method i use, is to add “Inception!” as the edit comment, and typically the article will be laden with grammatical or morphological errors and only a few sentences.

Immediately, it had effects. The guy Marudubshinki there you see who editted after me, is at the time doing some fighting with me on some articles. Apparently, he didn't know who the fuck Richard G is, and of course i knew he is all aware that i suddenly created a article. (most of them being some type of watchdog, and most editor warriors is in high vigil on what their enemy is creating).

i don't remember if i communicated with the Mar guy some what, but he immediately grabbed the free downloadable book on Richard (his book on patterns (half of the book is his his personal history)), and “copied” it (with re-wording) and put it on Wikipedia.

I commented to him how good a job he did, and he was happy. (He actually did a good job. From someone who doesn't know the guy, to scanning large part of the book, and copy-edited pertinent info into Wikipedia. It was done in a few hours.)

That's how that article on Richard G started. The bulk of info in the current version is still from that Mar guy. Thanks to, umm, Xah Lee.

References:

• Book Review: Patterns of Software
http://xahlee.org/PageTwo_dir/Personal_dir/bookReviewRichardGabriel.html

• The Nature of the “Unix Philosophy”
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/unix_phil.html

• Wikipedia Morons
http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/t2/wikimorons.html

• The Engine of Wikipedia
http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/t2/wikipedia_engine.html

• Encyclopedia, My Experiences
http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/encyclopedia.html

• Lispers and Wikipedia
http://xahlee.org/emacs/lispers_n_wikipedia.html

• Links To Wikipedia from XahLee.org
http://xahlee.org/wikipedia_links.html

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.lisp/browse_frm/thread/75069a2cdf3a140e

texinfo vs muse

2009-02-18

On Feb 18, 12:09 am, Water Lin wrote:
> I want to produce a long document, something like a novel or book.
>
> I know how to use Muse mode, and I am using Muse to build my own
> website.
>
> But I am wondering which is beteer since I meet Texinfo, Muse or
> Texinfo?
>
> I don't know if it is more convinent to use Texinfo to produce this long
> document.
>
> What's the deference between Texinfo and Muse? Any suggestions?

Texinfo (there's no t after x) is one of the dinosaur zombie. It's pretty outdated and not widely used, and it generates invalid html. See:

• Texinfo Problems
http://xahlee.org/emacs/texinfo_problems.html

any problem with texinfo you find will require you to go thru the FSF political bureaucracy gauntlet, with one pack of GNU geekers spatting to and fro with you about philosophy and esthetics, going nowhere in no time. The simple problem is that nobody uses it, excerpt maybe just 100 core GNU fanatics around the world.

I haven't check if Muse produces valid html... but it's more flexible, and maintained by a single author with large community. (for example, it is used in Planner, and i perhaps in Org too)

Between the two, i'd recommend Muse. Its author Michael Olson, i also highly respect.

Others recommended TeX/LaTeX. I highly recommend not to use TeX. It's garbage.

It not only botches your math formula structural info (so once your math is presented in TeX, it is technically IMPOSSIBLE to convert to any other format such as MathML), it is also highly unsuitable for producing any structured documentation, by its appearance-diddling nature known as typesetting. One practical problem you'll notice that any html converted from TeX/LaTeX are extremely ugly, invalided, a syntax soup fuckup. Many lang's doc system have moved from TeX to other systems, one example is Python 3.

For a detailed account, see:

• The TeX Pestilence
http://xahlee.org/cmaci/notation/TeX_pestilence.html

--

http://groups.google.com/group/comp.emacs/browse_frm/thread/27c3fabaadbec56d/fef4e5000d62b1c8

kenny tilton's website url fucked

2009-02-18

What a motherfuck.

I have a link to Kenny page
http://www. tilton-technology .com/

at

• Xah's Emacs Tutorial: Acknowledgment
http://xahlee.org/emacs/thanks.html

I've always been picky on urls i choose to link from my website. Many fuck's site or homepage goes thru random disappearance, or random garbage content, or fucking unreadable. Kenny has written some noticeable software in Common Lisp, and his site got his own domain, not some geocity fuck, so i thought it's safe.

However, today, i visited that site, and it shows a pretty girl's face with random advertisement from domain squatters.

What the fuck is Kenny doing to my site's quality?

--

http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.lisp/browse_frm/thread/61e03f21cfbec4c4

2009-02-14

launch external programs in emacs

On Feb 13, 10:48 pm, dstein64 wrote:
> Are there any functions that can launch external programs (not just
> command line programs, but also GUI programs) from Emacs?

if you OS support command line to open the gui app, then you can just use emacs's shell-command. e.g. in mac os x, to open TextEdit, do

(shell-command "open -a TextEdit")

Q: How to open the current directory in Desktop?

You can define a function and assign it a keyboard shortcut, so that by pressing a button, emacs will switch you to your operating systems's file manager (aka Desktop) with the current directory open.

On the Mac OS X, this is done with the “/usr/bin/open” command. So, press “Alt+! open .” to have Finder open the current directory. You can define the function this way:

(defun open-with-finder ()
"Open the current file in Mac's Finder."
(interactive)
(shell-command "open ."))

(global-set-key (kbd "") 'open-with-finder)

For a documentation of OS X's “open” command, see “man open”.

On Microsoft Windows, you can use “explorer.exe” instead of the “open” command.

the above is from

• Emacs and HTML Tips
http://xahlee.org/emacs/emacs_html.html

see also:

• Elisp Lesson: Execute/Compile Current File
http://xahlee.org/emacs/elisp_run_current_file.html

http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.emacs.help/browse_frm/thread/85d9f21aeff5f036

2009-02-13

Lisp, Ocaml, Linked List

2009-02-13

Dear Jon idiot,

No, Ocaml doesn't have linked list. Looook:

> [1;2;3]

That's a sequence of 3 numbers, separated by semicolon, then bracketed by square brackets. As flat as you can see.

> h::t

That's ocaml's syntax to deconstruct a sequece of things by pattern
matching the first element and the rest elements, so that programers
can retrieve either the first element or rest elements.

> 1 :: [2;3]

That's a syntax for prepending the element 1 to the flat sequece of 2 and 3. No link in sight.

> From Jon idiot's point of view, Mathematica...

O, Mathematica has linked list. Look:

{1,{2,{3,{}}}}
A B C

The list A's second element is referenced to the list B, who's second element is linked to list C. See? Linked!

O, i forgot, that you forgot to define what you mean by linked list. You wrote:

> Not abstract. A linked list is a concrete data structure composed of cells
> that refer to each other by reference (the links) in a linear sequence.
> Singly-linked lists have references only in one direction. Double-linked
> lists have references in both directions. Immutable lists forbit the
> references to be mutated but the elements of the list may still be mutable.

ummm.... egadz, so do you mean linked list is a computer language engineering issue?? How's this apply to your example of Ocaml and opinion of Mathematica? Do you mean their compilers work in certain way therefore Ocaml has links and Mathematica don't? What is the relation of how the compiler works to users of the lang? Does the language C has linked list by your definition?

What lang has linked list by your definition above? Does Perl, Python, PHP, Java? I tried to think this, but your def is impricise. What's a “cell”, “linear sequence”? I mean, it has lots meanings in math, computer science... depending what special context you are talking about. The term “data structure” itself is quite flexible too. I mean, don't you agree that you can implement any data structure with turing machines too? In your fuzzy definition, then the Mathematica “{1,{2,{3,{}}}}” is a linked list right? From your def: “data structure”, check. “composed of cells”, check, “refers to each by reference in a linear sequence”, check.

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.lisp/browse_frm/thread/326b50adea373c23

2009-02-12

math syntax & computer language syntax

2009-01-22

Rhodri James wrote:
> > Computer languages are not human languages, but computer language
> > constructs do attempt to map onto human language constructs to
> > provide some measure of comprehensibility. Where a construct like
> > list comprehension maps very well onto idiomatic English, dismissing
> > it as "ad hoc syntax soup" is just plain wrong.

On Jan 20, 7:51 pm, Terry Reedy wrote:
> Especially given that Python's comprehensions are taken from Haskell's
> which are taken from mathematics' set builder notation. Also, care was
> taken to have a correspondance between comprehension syntax and nested
> for- and if- statement syntax. Someone recently made a proposal that
> would break that correspondance and which would be 'ad hoc' and it will
> surely be rejected.

I suggest you take a course in math history. This is a pratical suggestion. There are community colleges perhaps near you. Register and take a course. If you are in USA, usually they are very cheap because it is funded by taxes. Typically it's 3 hours or so a week, adding homework it might be 10 per week, and last about 3 months. Try it. It's fun.

The above won't actually teach you much in htis issue. To get some level of basic knowledge on this, you'll have to have few years on inter-displinary study associated math history, math notations, markup langs, computer syntax, mathematical linguistics related to grammar n syntax...

Being a tech geeking hip creature, perhaps you'll never take the above advice. You'd rather immediate read some slashdot or google something and post profusely in online forums. For this, i recommend a few articles of my own:

• The Codification of Mathematics
http://xahlee.org/cmaci/notation/math_codify.html

• The TeX Pestilence
http://xahlee.org/cmaci/notation/TeX_pestilence.html

• The Problems of Traditional Math Notation
http://xahlee.org/cmaci/notation/trad_math_notation.html

• A Notation for Plane Geometry
http://xahlee.org/cmaci/notation/plane_geometry_notation.html

• The Concepts and Confusions of Prefix, Infix, Postfix and Fully Nested Notations
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/notations.html

of course, i also have very technical and practical book length tutorials on emacs lisp, python, perl, java, javascript/html/css, php, povray. You can find them on my website.

Thanks.

knowdge & demeanor

2009-02-10

knowdge & demeanor

Rhodri James wrote:
> I recommend spending less time being certain that you are correct
> without seeking evidence

I don't concur.

For instance, when you are talking to a bunch of kids, you have to be sure of yourself, else they run all over you, even if they didn't mean to be rude.

Also, one's demeanor must commensurate one's knowledge. If i pamper you, you might think i'm a whimp, and run on with your opinions and thoughts unbridled, which, can be considered as a miscommunication on my part.

http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.python/browse_frm/thread/7f4ebb5ca2fbd864

splitting comp.lang.lisp newsgroup

2009-02-10

On Feb 9, 5:58 pm, Slobodan Blazeski wrote:
[suggest and poll for creating comp.lang.common-lisp newsgroup]

I vote Yes!

let me describe my feelings on this.

Initially, i just LOL'd. I didn't believe some common lisper actually would propose this, because my gut feelings from how i've observed online forum social groups (including newsgroup) in the past 10 years, made me think that the newly created comp.lang.lisp.common-lisp would be pretty much empty, while comp.lang.lisp would remain active as it is. Thus, on the political front, when i see some Common Lisping fanatics throwing their fucking sneering remarks about emacs lisp or NewLisp, i can tell them fuckheads to go home, with a sword of righteousness!

i don't quite know how comp.lang.scheme got created (it was before my time in newsgroup), but i sure am personally familiar, how Common Lisping fuckheads always sneer, jibe, fuck the Scheme Language and Scheme lisp people, especially around 1998-2002. ('was when Nagg'em is still around, but it's not just him. Kent Pitman is among the major abuser, but wearing a mask)

But then, some lingering love for human animal in me says no, that i should just vote No. In the general aspect of ethology of human animals, such schism, division, faction creation, are not good for the whole. (some, such as the common lisper named viper-2 aka agt here, has expressed similar sentiment in this thread, for example.)

and again, there's not really much certainty what would happen if comp.lang.lisp.common-lisp is created. Maybe, as some say, most traffic will move there (san or sans trolls), but i seriously doubt it... (you have my assurance here, that if comp.lang.lisp.common-lisp is created, i will not put a foot on it, unless there are *explicit* written invitation or begging, or that i actually started to code in Common Lisp (i have no such plan whatsoever in the next few years).)

overall, the whole shebang is quite silly. You see these lonely males, old, retired, or student, who's got nothing to do all day but drivel and piss fight among their peers, with deadpan faces writ with morality, thinking that newsgroup is still some important conduit of communication for scientists and professionals, whereas in reality it is more like a staged wrestling platform of themselfs. (certain guy named namekuseijin expressed similar sentiment recently in another thread, and the in-house troll Kenneth Tilton certainly espouses this school of thought)

So, i wasn't much decided. I think i'd vote no. However, scanning thru this thread, it appears certain common lispers, namely at least the 2 Pascals (Costanza & Bourguignon), voted Yes. This made me thinking. Technically, this is a logical proposal. After all, its quite logical to have a newsgroup dedicated to a specialized lisp, just as there are comp.lang.lisp.franz, comp.lang.lisp.mcl, comp.lang.lisp.x, comp.lang.scheme.scsh,.lang.scheme.c. So, why not a comp.lang.lisp.common-lisp?

speaking of the 2 Pascals here... let me talk a bit about my impression of them. First of all, both of them are common lisp fanatics. However, their newsgroup demeanor are not bad. Sometimes, in some lisp criticism i made, they would say things that seem to me quite idiotic. But, they are not like some other common lisp fanatics here, that are completely motherfucking idiotic, aggressive, or almost devoid of any merit (e.g. one who's name start with “T” and has “a” and “m” in it, one who's name start with D and has 3 letters and end in “n”, and few others). (in fact, i'd place the 2 Pascals's newsgroup personae to be higher than that of Kent Pitman) For another example, Rainer, George Neuner, and quite few others, are all regular, common lisp fanatics. The Rainer seems to me the most aggressive the way a gonad-strong socially-ignorant juvenile 15-years old male is. (but i think me & Rainer have come to certain semi-peaceful mutual understanding)

... sorry i digressed. Now back to the subject proper... so, i was thinking the proposal is not without a logical rationale. Thus i put forth yes above. But actually, i take it back. I yield my voting right to one Kenny Tilton, who, are connected with me thru a platonic friendship. It is my belief that Kenny'll do the Right Thing.

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.lisp/browse_frm/thread/8ce7aadcedea1659

languages, regular syntax, syntax tree

2009-02-12

syntax that represent a tree purely [was X#]

On Jan 21, 3:13 am, Pascal Costanza wrote:
> LOL: http://www.xsharp.org/samples/

Today, i was nosing about some blogs, which made me come to:
http://blog.fogus.me/2009/02/06/yegge-clojure-arc-and-lolita-or-days-of-future-past

in which he wrote: «Now I’m not a LISP expert, but it seems to me that the S-Expression is generally regarded as the canonical representation of the LISP AST (and many other languages for that matter). That is, the LISP syntax is as close to an AST as one can get. Perhaps the presence of macros, #, `, ‘, and , muddy the waters a bit, but not much.»

that is technically not true. Although you mentioned lisp syntax irregularities like “# , ,@ '”, but in general this sentiment that lisp has regular syntax, or that its syntax is closest to abstract syntax tree, is perpetuating a myth.

Mathematica language's syntax, XML, and XML derived general purpose languages (e.g. O:XML), are in fact more regular and closest to a pure tree representation of the abstract syntax tree.

For detail, see:

• Fundamental Problems of Lisp
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/lisp_problems.html
(the first section; on syntax irregularity)

• The Concepts and Confusions of Prefix, Infix, Postfix and Fully Nested Notations
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/notations.html

also note, nesting matching delimiters is not the only way to represent a tree. Indentation, such as used in Python or ascii-picture tree used to represent directories and sub dirs and files, is another form, arguably has more clarity than nesting with delimiters. As far as i known, there were a couple such proposal/spec/library with working implementation of this syntax that works for Scheme lisp.

in general, the question is what are ways to represent a tree structure visually using text. The lisp, Mathematica approach is nesting matching pairs. Ascii-picture approch is using lines to represent a tree node and indentation to represent their level. (python's syntax borrows this idea, however not in a pure form, in the sense that the source code's visual representation does not correspond to python's AST, far from it)

Note here, one of the important aspect here is VISUALLY. Because otherwise any syntax is abstract syntax tree by definition. This criterion can be formalized mathematically, by saying that the parser for such a syntax should be very simple as having just one heuristics that is based on recursion. (i dont have expertise in parsing, but in parser jargon, i think there are simple terms to describe this class of syntax, something like: its lexical grammar can be parsed by parsing expression grammar)

Another important aspect here is that the source code of lang with such syntax also needs to remain human readable and practically usable for programers to type conveniently. This is the reason, lisp has few irregular syntax introduced. Mathematica, take the approach of a layer of syntax on top of the regular. This in my opinion has 2 major advantages: A: the regularity of the syntax is unadulterated. B: arbitrary shorter, traditional, or algebraic syntax can be introduced. This is also why, python's syntax isn't a pure representation of its abstract syntax tree, else, to code “print 3+4*5” becomes:


print
+
3
*
4
5


As for XML derived languages, the problem of verbosity and nesting largely remains. The practiced solution seems to head towards a specialized editor so that programers work on the editor's simpler representation instead of the source code. (e.g. much of MathML, and conversely Microsoft Word with its XML file format)

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.lisp/browse_frm/thread/eb7769880d08bad0

Symbolics lisp machine history & programing celebrities

2009-02-12

while nosing about lisp machines, i checked out the Wikipedia article on Symbolics again:
Symbolics

it's content has improved significantly since last year or so i checked.

My firts daily use of computer or owning one is ~1991, and didn't really become pro after 1995. So, lisp machines are before my time. Though, i have already had some interest in lisp history and have strong interest in the the history of how the motherfucking unix tookover its/lisp/vms/whatnot war. Reading such history is usually not easy, because you are bombarded with many OSes or technologies that you are not familiar and really difficult to understand its situation without having lived in the tech of that era...

anyhow, check out some of the interesting tidbits in the article:

«Symbolics staffers Dan Weinreb, David Moon, Neal Feinberg, Kent Pitman, Scott McKay, Sonya Keene and others made significant contributions to the emerging Common Lisp language standard from the mid-1980s through the release of the ANSI Common Lisp standard in 1994»

There, Dan Weinred, Kent Pitman, 2 guy who still write here sometimes, are mentioned. (Kent i knew as a online acquaintance since ~2000 here. Dan i knew only last year.)

Also note how Richard Stallman, who the open sourcing or FSF fuckheads take to be a god unquestioned, who was at the time simply doing questionable deeds. (note that in general, history doesn't have a right and wrong. How came out as winner, is the hero.)

Given the Symbolic vs MIT/RMS situation, one can question what is the interpersonal relation or formal relation between these people with RMS. (in general, often many historical issue or truth cannot be discussed when the persons are still alive, for many real life complexities.)

Also of interest is tat Scott McKay, the Sun Micro guy, is there too...

O, a wee bit of rambling.

«The Graphics Division's Craig Reynolds devised an algorithm that simulated the flocking behavior of birds in flight. "Boids" made their first appearance at SIGGRAPH in the 1987 animated short "Stanley and Stella in: Breaking the Ice", produced by the Graphics Division. Reynolds went on to win the Scientific And Engineering Award from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1998.»

I didn't know Boid originated from Symbolics. I remember Boid in late 1990s.
The boid in java applet is here:
http://www.red3d.com/cwr/boids/

«Advances in garbage collection techniques by Henry Baker, David Moon and others, particularly the first commercial use of generational scavenging, allowed Symbolics computers to run large Lisp programs for months at a time.»

interesting to me is seeing the name Henry Baker. He has wrote a few articles i've came cross in the past and enjoyed.

• “Buffer Overflow” Security Problems, (2001), by Henry G Baker
http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/21.84.html#subj10.1

• Communications of the ACM 34, 4 (April 1991), 18. Henry G Baker, 1990. (On the harm of speed)
http://home.pipeline.com/~hbaker1/letters/CACM-DubiousAchievement.html

• “Iterators: Signs of Weakness in Object-Oriented Languages” (1992) By Henry G Baker.
http://home.pipeline.com/~hbaker1/Iterator.html

I'm posting this to python group too, for the last article above about iterators. I whole heartedly agree to all Henry's opinions... often today's hotshot programing morons have no understanding fuck. Python 3 is going full with iterators and enumerators fuck.

i'd link to few articles i wrote pertinent to some of the above issues... but think rather not, since i've already done that often.

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/

lisp machine keyboards

2009-02-12

lisp machine keyboards.

• Knight keyboard. I think this is one of the earlist.
http://world.std.com/~jdostale/kbd/Knight.html

• Symbolics earlier style keyboard (PN 364000), by Peter Paine
http://www.asl.dsl.pipex.com/symbolics/photos/IO/kbd-older.html

Symbolics later model Symbolics keyboard PN 365407 Rev C
at Joey Devilla's blog, several high quality photos
http://www.globalnerdy.com/2009/02/05/hacklabtos-lisp-machine-keyboard/

also at Rainer Joswig's site, with info on how to use it on mac os x
http://lispm.dyndns.org/news?ID=NEWS-2008-07-27-1

one of the most funny comment from Joey's blog is:
“Man, my pinkies are getting tired just looking at that thing.”

of course, the most baroque, showy, with a fancy name is the
Space-cadet keyboard
http://xahlee.org/emacs/emacs_kb_shortcuts_pain.html

Space-cadet! LOL.

btw, how did that name came to be?

http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.lisp/browse_frm/thread/2c42d08221976412

2009-02-11

some Brian Hayes articles

On Feb 11, 1:52 am, Rainer Joswig wrote:
> Blog post by Brian Hayes:
>
> http://bit-player.org/2009/long-division
>
> "The new program is written in Common Lisp rather than
> Scheme ‹ not for any deep reason, just because that¹s the
> flavor of the week. The new version sifts through the
> 21-megapixel map in a matter of seconds, although
> writing out Postscript images at various stages in
> the process (125 megabytes each) takes somewhat longer."
>
> Brian Hayes is the author of the book 'group theory in the bedroom'.
> http://grouptheoryinthebedroom.com/
>
> Notices of the American Mathematical Society (NAMS) has
> a review of the book here:
> http://www.ams.org/notices/200902/rtx090200237p.pdf
>
> The blog post is about the graphics on the cover
> of NAMS Feb 2009:
> http://www.ams.org/notices/200902/noti-feb09-cov1.pdf
>
> --http://lispm.dyndns.org/

Note that few years ago Brian also published a article titled Semicolon Wars, description the fanaticism of tech geekrs on comp langs.

“Semicolon Wars” by Brian Hayes
http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/id.3489,y.0,no.,content.true,page.5,css.print/issue.aspx

this is a mediocre essay. Some programer blogger, have written better essays on this topic. (candidate include Steve Yegge, Yossi Kreinin, ...)

Brian H, is one of those pop scientist. He has also wrote, for example, a review of Stephen Wolfram book A New Type of Science.

“The World According to Wolfram” by Brian Hayes
http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/id.3261,y.0,no.,content.true,page.5,css.print/issue.aspx

See also:

• Notes on A New Kind of Science
http://xahlee.org/cmaci/ca/ca.html

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/

2009-02-10

creation of comp.lang.lisp.common-lisp?

2009-02-10

On Feb 9, 5:58 pm, Slobodan Blazeski wrote:
> As we all know common lisp doesn't have it's own group but instead
> uses generic comp.lang.lisp that belongs to the whole family of lisp
> languages. This brings a lot of problems reagarding a tone and
> discussion in comp.lang.lisp, confusing new users unaccustomed to
> generality of comp.lang.lisp and its mostly common lisp population.It
> also fuels flame wars between common lispers and users of the other
> dialects. The latest example is thread What kind of Lisp should I
> learn if I want to start programing with Lisp?
> I propose a creation of new usenet group comp.lang.common-lisp aimed
> at discussion for common lisp only, while comp.lang.lisp should be
> left as general purpose group.
> Considering the guidelines for creating new usenet grouphttp://www.faqs.org/faqs/usenet/creating-newsgroups/part1/
> AFTER the waiting period, and if there were no serious objections
> that might invalidate the vote, and if 100 more valid YES/create
> votes are received than NO/don't create AND at least 2/3 of the
> total number of valid votes received are in favor of creation, a
> newgroup control message may be sent out. If the 100 vote margin
> or 2/3 percentage is not met, the group should not be created.
>
> For creation of new newsgroup we need at least 100 more Yes votes
> than No votes, and 2/3 of all votes to be in favour of creating the
> new newsgroup. If you are interested in creating a new usenet group
> dedicated to common lisp please post in this thread about your
> approval or disapproval. If there is at least 100 interested people
> we will start the procedure of creating the new newsgroup
> comp.lang.common-lisp
>
> yours
> Slobodan Blazeski


On Feb 10, 4:34 am, Aatu Koskensilta wrote:
> Slobodan Blazeski writes:
> > For creation of new newsgroup we need at least 100 more Yes votes
> > than No votes, and 2/3 of all votes to be in favour of creating the
> > new newsgroup. If you are interested in creating a new usenet group
> > dedicated to common lisp please post in this thread about your
> > approval or disapproval. If there is at least 100 interested people
> > we will start the procedure of creating the new newsgroup
> > comp.lang.common-lisp
>
> The document you quote is out of date. For the current procedure, see
>
> http://www.big-8.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=policies:creation
>
> (I have added news.groups to the newsgroups line.)


I vote Yes!

let me describe my feelings on this.

Initially, i just LOL'd. I didn't believe some common lisper actually would propose this, because my gut feelings from how i've observed online forum social groups (including newsgroup) in the past 10 years, made me think that the newly created comp.lang.lisp.common-lisp would be pretty much empty, while comp.lang.lisp would remain active as it is. Thus, on the political front, when i see some Common Lisping fanatics throwing their fucking sneering remarks about emacs lisp or NewLisp, i can tell them fuckheads to go home, with a sword of righteousness!

i don't quite know how comp.lang.scheme got created (it was before my time in newsgroup), but i sure am personally familiar, how Common Lisping fuckheads always sneer, jibe, fuck the Scheme Language and Scheme lisp people, especially around 1998-2002. ('was when Nagg'em is still around, but it's not just him. Kent Pitman is among the major abuser, but wearing a mask)

But then, some lingering love for human animal in me says no, that i should just vote No. In the general aspect of ethology of human animals, such schism, division, faction creation, are not good for the whole. (some, such as the common lisper named viper-2 aka agt here, has expressed similar sentiment in this thread, for example.)

and again, there's not really much certainty what would happen if comp.lang.lisp.common-lisp is created. Maybe, as some say, most traffic will move there (san or sans trolls), but i seriously doubt it... (you have my assurance here, that if comp.lang.lisp.common-lisp is created, i will not put a foot on it, unless there are *explicit* written invitation or begging, or that i actually started to code in Common Lisp (i have no such plan whatsoever in the next few years).)

overall, the whole shebang is quite silly. You see these lonely males, old, retired, or student, who's got nothing to do all day but drivel and piss fight among their peers, with deadpan faces writ with morality, thinking that newsgroup is still some important conduit of communication for scientists and professionals, whereas in reality it is more like a staged wrestling platform of themselfs. (certain guy named namekuseijin expressed similar sentiment recently in another thread, and the in-house troll Kenneth Tilton certainly espouses this school of thought)

So, i wasn't much decided. I think i'd vote no. However, scanning thru this thread, it appears certain common lispers, namely at least the 2 Pascals (Costanza & Bourguignon), voted Yes. This made me thinking. Technically, this is a logical proposal. After all, its quite logical to have a newsgroup dedicated to a specialized lisp, just as there are comp.lang.lisp.franz, comp.lang.lisp.mcl, comp.lang.lisp.x, comp.lang.scheme.scsh,.lang.scheme.c. So, why not a comp.lang.lisp.common-lisp?

speaking of the 2 Pascals here... let me talk a bit about my impression of them. First of all, both of them are common lisp fanatics. However, their newsgroup demeanor are not bad. Sometimes, in some lisp criticism i made, they would say things that seem to me quite idiotic. But, they are not like some common lisp fanatics here, that are completely motherfucking idiotic, aggressive, or almost devoid of any merit (e.g. one who's name start with “T” and has “a” and “m” in it, one who's name start with D and has 3 letters and end in “n”, and few others). (in fact, i'd place the 2 Pascals's newsgroup persona to be higher than that of Kent Pitman) For another example, Rainer, George Neuner, and quite few others, are all regular, common lisp fanatics. The Rainer seems to me the most aggressive the way a gonad-strong socially-ignorant juvenile 15-years old male is. (but i think me & Rainer have come to certain semi-peaceful mutual understanding)

... sorry i digressed. Now back to the subject proper... so, i was thinking the proposal is not without a logical rationale. Thus i put forth yes above. But actually, i take it back. I yield my voting right to one Kenny Tilton, who, are connected with me thru a platonic friendship. It is my belief that Kenny'll do the Right Thing.

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/



http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.lisp/browse_frm/thread/8ce7aadcedea1659