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Re: Dylan (was: ARC)

   Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2001 15:54:11 -0500
   From: "Oliver Steele" <steele@cs.brandeis.edu>

   Common Lisp has been playing (and losing) the catch-up game with writing its
   own libraries for a long time now.  There's a certain level below which the
   increased productivity of the user community can't compensate for the
   zillions of Java or Perl programmers out there, and there comes a point
   where it makes sense, for many tasks, to use a worse programming language if
   it comes with better libraries.

Yes, this is part of the "network effect" that was (I think) the main
point of my little speech at the LL1 conference.  And, in my opinion,
which is a particularly humble opinion since I know so little about it
but I'll say it anyway, this was always the main problem with the
question of how Dylan was going to "succeed" -- it was never clear how
the critical mass needed to achieve the required positive feedback
loops was going to get started.  (At least, when I asked my friends
who were working on Dylan how they intended to do this, they didn't
seem to have any strategy that they could articulate to me.)  Of
course, my assertion above is using a somewhat circular definition
of "succeed"; Dylan succeeded in other respects, of course.