Subject: Re: lab director duties
From: Mark Eichin <>
Date: 21 Oct 2001 12:41:59 -0400

Crossing threads, but:

> Yes, no, maybe.  That's a marketing problem.  Value is value, and
> whether or not the market recognizes it is a separate question.

Ok, now I have a theory for why scheme projects are doomed :-)

[seriously.  Other than autocad (where only the most advanced users
even know there's something lisp-like inside) or gensym (where all of
the lisp is on the other side of a wall of consultants :-), oh, and
Emacs itself, what scheme/lisp end-user successes have there been?
And while that may seem like a "wrong question", the answer should
provide some guidance towards better pattern matching on "what kinds
of things lead to success"... and thus the better-directed use of
resources we've been talking about all along...]

> That points to a trend: new technologies for very high level
> programming that sneak up on established paradigms and then plow them
> under a snowbank of Superior Abstractions.  

Trend, or software hacker fantasy? The "scheme machine" is an
excellent talking point, "see, we can build lisp machines again!" but
as far as I can tell, that's the entirety of the "snowbank"...  or am
I being too cynical, having not had my morning tea yet?

> bloody bleeding edge, leading little experiments to differentiate the
> purely theoretical from the all-to-practical.

I'm not sure this experiment [scheme machine] *served* to
differentiate...  what was the dilbert quote? "We're cutting edge,
sure -- but not the side you keep"...