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

> From: "Gregor Kiczales" <gregor@cs.ubc.ca>
> Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2003 13:52:11 -0700
> I probably shouldn't get into this, but much of this conversation seems
> to be a rehash of discussions from 20 years ago about why Lisp adoption
> didn't happen, technical superiority and all that.
> IMHO we've all seen a lot that we can learn from in that time. Just to name
> a few stories, consider Lisp, Smalltalk, OO, Dylan, the Star, the Lisa, the
> Mac, Windows, Objective C, C++, Next, Taligent, San Francisco...
> One thing I've learned from all that is that if you want to change what
> tools people use, you have to truly understand and accept why one set of
> users has a different preference than seems right to you. Cynical stories
> about people who don't use Lisp being stupid, or na´ve don't cut it. They
> don't give you the ability to really stand in the other person's shoes and
> see it their way. And without that ability, you aren't going to be able to
> speak to them in a way that makes them see why the points you see as important
> might also matter to them.

I agree that saying "people who don't use lisp are stupid" is, well,
stupid.  For one thing, I can well understand someone preferring the more
statically-typed world view of java to the more dynamically-typed world
view of lisp.  What bothers me is when people take one look at lisp, go
"oh, no, look at all those parentheses!" and run screaming.  Yes, these are
perhaps social issues, but it's surprising how much of peoples' preferences
are based on what to me are very superficial issues like this.  Then these
superficial issues prevent many people from ever delving any further into
the language; they just write it off immediately.  Often they will also
come up with a post-hoc justification for their attitude e.g. "oh well,
lisp is really slow, and it's just an AI language, so it's obviously not
the tool for the job".  What they really mean is that they thought it was

Maybe what I'm really saying is that I don't understand why people have
such a hard time with different syntaxes ;-)