LispOS: LispEnv or Tunes?

Cyber Surfer
Sat, 03 May 1997 10:57:11 +0100

At 12:32 02/05/97 -0700, Kelly Murray wrote:

>> I agree that if you know Lisp, and can use it, then this is a great way
>> to do it. However, I think you're very wrong about people _needing_
>> Lisp in order to do it. The evidence is already on the web. What that
>> may mean for Lisp is another matter.
>My point is they only "need" SilkScript+SilkServer+SilkOS
>if they want to be *productive* doing it.

We may know this, true. What I have doubts about is the wider
market for web development tools, which are already established.
This is why I'd rather development something before we make
any assumptions about who else will use it. We'll obviously use it.

>Today, it's all done using a patchwork of different things
>glued together with chewing gum and bailing wire that CAN be made to work,
>but it takes some who has experience using all the different
>components, who are difficult to find, and get paid too much,
>making many such web development projects get put on hold or stuck
>in the planning stages, etc.

Hmm. I have doubts about this. I don't want to claim this is easy
to do, as I make a living from it. This naturally gives me a bias.
I have no trouble at all finding other people doing the same kind
of work, using similar - or identical - tools. Perhaps it depends on
where you look. In the comp.infosystems.www.* heirarchy, on UseNet,
most people seem to be using Perl. On the other hand, there are
more enlightened sources of expertise, Cix (a conferencing system
at <URL:>).

If the comp.infosystems.www.* newsgroups are truely representative
of most web developers, then I'll be overjoyed. However, I deny that
the existing tools are hard to use, fail to work well together, or that
all web developers are paid too much. That last point is another issue,
as you'll have noticed if you've ever seen close rivals go out of business
because they were charging too much.

>And if it gets built, it ends up being a nightmare to maintain.

I suspect that you've been looking at the wrong software. ;-) It isn't
all so bad. If you know some poor examples, please let me know.
I'd like to recommend them to rival web developers! Such nasty
tacticals might also help LispOS. There's certainly no way that I'm
going to tell anyone which tools my colleagues are using.

>I believe SilkScript is *easy* to learn -- you don't need to know lisp
>already to use it.

Excellent. It still looks like Lisp, tho. Am alternate parser could fix
that "problem". Pick a popular rival tool and write a "clone" parser
that translates to SilkScript.

>This is the problem with CL-HTTP - you have to be a lisp expert to use
>it, and I believe it actually makes everything MORE complicated
>instead of simpler.

I agree. CL-HTTP shoves Lisp in your face, which will instantly write
it off for anyone with a Lisp phobia. In other words, a very large number
of people. I like the "black box" technique, where you write a tool in
a language for which some people have a strong aversion, but you
disguise it so heavily that nobody can tell. This may be how Forth has
been used in projects sent up in the Space Shuttle. Apparently, NASA
has an aversion to Forth...go figure.

Technical quality seems to mean little to most people, while their
perception of a tool is everything. Fashion and religion rule. This is
why I'd recommend hiding all the Lisp aspects of SilkScript, and
SilkOS. Could that be done?

Martin Rodgers
Enrapture Limited
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