Getting LispOS going
Sat, 24 May 1997 08:50:42 -0500 (CDT)

> > I think we've got a fundamental problem here, which is that we have no
> > means of making a decision. Linux has a benevolent dictatorship, and
> > we have anarchy.
> Richard Coleman, why hast thou forsaken me???

I don't think Mr. Coleman has forsaken anybody.  He is in the unenviable
position of having control of this list, but potentially alienating 
some people if he exercises this control.  If he does nothing, chances
are we'll fizzle out and LispOS will become "an amusing conversation".
If he takes control, chances are that some people may accuse him of
being dictatorial, if his control and leadership installment does not
fit their views.  This is a very rough place to be in.


> > So proposals for a constitution are open.
> How about Alistair Crowley's classic "Do what thou wilt", with
> a paragraph explaining it - everyone starts to write /their/ idea
> of a LispOS, then finds out how hard it is and joins in with somebody
> else. The list exists for merging the LispOSs and forging compatabilities
> by discussing APIs and the like.

The problem with that are as follows:
	1) There will be quite a bit of wasted effort.
	2) Some people may insist on continuing to do it themselves, thus
		we'll lose potentially valuable resources.
	3) Those who have done something may try to force it down the
		throats' of others.
	4) There is no control over who groups with whom, so we could
		end up with "tribes" of developers rather than a unified

I for one know that this project is not trivial, and have no intention of
starting it without a body of control to govern it.  If people want to
go off on a tangent, that's fine with me, but I intend to work on
something that has the best chance of succeeding.

> > Here is an opening suggestion. We form about 6 groups, to which any
> > person can only belong to say two. The 6 might be, VM, OOFS,
> > utilities, web, and whatever. Then within that group, voting takes
> > place on which direction is going to be taken to move forward. Then -
> > guess what - you implement what was voted for, whether your idea "won"
> > or not.
> Sounds OK, as well!

I think that we should step back even more.  I think an authoritative
body consisting of an "elite" of our most experience should have the
final say, and decide what we do, whether it is discussion, or
implementation, etc...  They will have the power to assign tasks based
on our duty rosters, and we should all choose to abide by them.

Of course if anyone thinks that anarchy is fine, I just point you to
this list to see just how little we've accomplished, other than 
keeping a list server busy.

> --
> Alaric B. Williams (
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