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Re: Industry versus academia

   >Maybe it would be enough for an advanced language to do things that can be
   >done in other languages, but do them so much more quickly and provide
   >such a better solution in the end than would a conventional language that
   >the clear choice would be the advanced language.
   >I have read Paul Graham's essay on how Lisp enabled his company to produce
   >better online stores faster than anyone else could.  If there were more stories
   >like this, I think the industry would take notice that, although they could
   >do the same kinds of things with languages like C++, some other language
   >could make their programmers so much more productive that it would be insane
   >to do things "the old way."

Well, I have no clue about the marketing side of this, but allow me to
be a bit contrarian here. I remember going to Paul's talk at the Franz
conf., and he mentioned that yahoo was re-writing some of his Lisp
code in C/C++? (Paul?). ITA, the other alleged Lisp success
story.. also says much the same thing.. they don't really use Lisp
except for certain key things, and the rest of the stuff is wired in C
to prevent consing effects (I could have this wrong, so someone can
jump in and correct me). We (at Ascent) use Lisp too, but our db, and
X access is done thru Forth! Why do you think history is replete with
people trying to re-write working code (see what happened at Ars
Digita :) .. and don't give me that "people are stupid" argument

The point of this is that.. you can't get "enterprise" managers to
notice if you say "oh.. this language is great for nxn matrix
multiplies, but is zilch for everything else". The other noodly things
like creating tree controls or coolbars or connecting to Oracle in
your apps ARE important in their eyes, becaues they've spent oodles of
$$ integrating that piece of code that some "wizard" wrote in the 70's
to talk to everything else -- and have learnt their lessons as a

If you want to gain mind/market share, you have to drive platform
standards, and you can't drive platform standards if you attempt to
solve just one or two problems better than anyone else (even 100x
better does NOT matter!). 

I therefore would venture that the so-called "advanced" languages are
not so advanced after all.. if they force you back to "assembler days"
to solve these other problems that they view as peripheral to their
mission. And frankly -- I think we have enough new languages as it
is.. why not just take Common Lisp and *fix* it! (Assembling the
original Common Lisp standards drivers and calling it CL2 -- or Lisp++
would be a great start).

As to marketing new languages.. you only have two choices these days:
1. go open source, and hope other people solve these other problems for
you (since you, as a language designer may not have time to write
that db2 driver :)
2. keep it secret and convince MSFT or IBM to be your distribution

And why is this choice so binary? Why isn't MSFT or IBM "embracing and
extending" Perl.. or Python? Could it be because such languages are
not platform threats? Yet?

How to get noticed? Easy -- threaten an existing business -- write a
better office suite, or distributed transaction platform, or
relational database.