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Re: bindings and assignments (was: Re: continuations)

   Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2003 13:59:18 -0400
   To: Guy Steele - Sun Microsystems Labs <Guy.Steele@sun.com>
   From: Scott McKay <swm@itasoftware.com>
   Subject: Re: bindings and assignments (was: Re: continuations)
   Cc: dbtucker@cs.brown.edu, swm@itasoftware.com, dherman@ccs.neu.edu, 
sk@cs.brown.edu, ll1-discuss@ai.mit.edu
   At 1:43 PM -0400 8/21/03, Guy Steele - Sun Microsystems Labs wrote:
   >But, as my previous message explains, your assumption
   >was incorrect.  We (or, more specifically, John Rose,
   >who had previously worked on C* and other languages
   >using Symbolics Lisp Machines) were far from lazy: he
   >did the whole shebang. and user feedback made us back off.
   With all respect, you should have looked beyond the
   user feedback.  It is my experience that most users
   don't actually know what they need; they only know
   what they wanted yesterday and might possibly want
   today and maybe tomorrow.  (And I literally mean
   "yesterday", "today", and "tomorrow".)  This is no
   surprise since knowing what they want in a language
   is not their immediate concern, since they have other
   work to do that is more directly relevant to their
   jobs.  It surely could not have been the case that
   including the "whole shebang" would have made the
   current restricted case more difficult from a user's
   point of view, if properly presented.

With all respect, I think you underestimate the difficulty
of getting a radically new programming language accepted.

We did look beyond the user feedback, and at it, and made
what we still regard as a reasoned pragmatic choice at the time.

--Guy Steele