Contributing (was Re: Tunes Membership Policy)

Brian T Rice
Thu Feb 20 13:08:02 2003

On Thu, 20 Feb 2003, David Scott Williams, web wrote:

> Hey... I see.
> How do amateurs who love the very fabric of programming becoming
> experts without contributing, making errors, and fixing them?

By contributing to other projects which are more closely related to Tunes
than anything that can be written in C++ or PHP or Java, but not to Tunes
itself. I cut my teeth on Squeak, if that helps you.

There are hundreds of projects at intermediate levels between what you
know now and what Tunes requires. Don't pretend that we don't appreciate
it when people enhance tools like that, because we can re-use those
results much more easily than we can C code or PHP.

> Where are the other Tunes people in this, or are you the only one
> left?

Some have left, but generally I communicate with members on the IRC
channel, which is a poor practice, but it's more controllable than an open
mailing list and allows discussions to proceed more interactively.

I can't speak for others, but I would generally suppose that, as in years
past, most people on this list are like yourself. The few who comprehend
more than that

> Maybe I'll learn LISP and such, as listed on your Cliki page..
> maybe... I really have to decide if a project that so willingly
> thumbs its nose at people who WOULD help if they COULD in the
> manner that you do is worthy of my time.

Maybe? I consider that insulting to speak highly of reflection and
meta-programming, and to then do anything but accept advice from the
organization that described the benefits of these principles to you.

Honestly, I think we can afford to lose your "support" if you don't want
to learn because we want you to learn before we will solicit your support.
:) Surely you see the circularity of reasoning here! :)

If it matters, people like Eric Raymond and Richard Stallman (by no means
necessarily the greatest examples) will both tell you that learning Lisp
will make you a better programmer even if you never use it (ESR wrote an
essay with this as its thesis, actually). If you reject that kind of
advice, you're not being flexible, and not reflecting well enough
yourself. ;)

> PS- One of those messages you replied to was written to you, not
> to the list.  One should consider NOT sending private emails to
> public lists.  It's just a matter of good taste.

I didn't post anything confidential, and you asked such a widely-
applicable question that it didn't reflect poorly on you at all.

Brian T. Rice
LOGOS Research and Development