Getting LispOS going

Alaric B. Williams
Sun, 25 May 1997 09:41:46 +0000

> > 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.

Hmmm... so somebody should do something, certainly, but who and what????

> > > 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.

Only a truely evil dictatorship has no wasted effort :-)

> 	2) Some people may insist on continuing to do it themselves, thus
> 		we'll lose potentially valuable resources.

Yes, but at least they'll be doing /something/. Even if it isn't
directly useful to us, there will probably be lessons learnt from
it, publicity to be gained from it, etc. 

> 	3) Those who have done something may try to force it down the
> 		throats' of others.

This would have to be "constitutionally" prohibited!

> 	4) There is no control over who groups with whom, so we could
> 		end up with "tribes" of developers rather than a unified
> 		"nation".

Well, there are differing goals and viewpoints here, so unless the
theory can provide a unifying model of computation for us, a unified
nation would just end up in civil war IMHO.
> 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.

In which case, amongst the tribes would be some big tribes where 
people who don't have any problems with authority club together.

An anarchic manifesto merely reifies the inevitable splinter 
groups :-)

> > 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.

Out of interest, who would you trust to govern? 

Henry Baker, Fare, Richard Coleman? Me? Yourself?

> -- 
> Cya,
> Ahmed

Alaric B. Williams (

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