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[Chicken-users] chicken and stalin

From: Brandon Van Every
Subject: [Chicken-users] chicken and stalin
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2007 11:12:36 -0400

On 6/5/07, John Cowan <address@hidden> wrote:
Brandon Van Every scripsit:

> This is infrastructurally lame.  Anyone who is that enamored with
> speed deserves what they get.  Efforts would be better spent actually
> creating a community around Stalin and showing some leadership
> addressing its utter inadequacies.  C'mon guys, if you want to develop
> with someone's FTP dump then you just don't appreciate what it takes
> to do software.  Stalin properly exists as a research reference and
> nothing more.

Brandon, this is pure negativity, only one step up from "Don't do that,
it won't help me develop games on Windows."  If Stalin compatibility
scratches someone's itch or tickles their fancy, it'll get done.  If
not, it won't.  In either case, you are better off spending your time
achieving your objectives than trying to tell other people not to achieve

This goes far beyond games on Windows.  This is about people
completely wasting their time on projects that, if they have no
academic context, are completely worthless.  I've gone bankrupt
chasing nonsense.  I have delusions of grandeur that I *might* save
some young buck from his/her utter cluelessness in the face of
industrial reality.

I don't want to invoke Felix as having an opinion on this issue, but
why do you think he rolls his eyeballs when R6RS comes up?  I'll
wager, because there's a huge chunk of people in Scheme-land that
DON'T GET IT when it comes to practical reality.  That's why Scheme
sucks as far as standardization, why it remains a research rather than
practical language for most of the computer industry, and why it fails
to gain any relevance.  Too many smart, tweaky people with no clue
working on things that don't matter.  If Scheme were a mental
disorder, it would be ADD.

I don't really believe in software as a playground.  I believe in
software that gets important things done.  That's why I was willing to
put 1 man year into the Chicken build system, a fairly dull task, and
other people generally aren't.  My build system is going to be here
years from now, unless something substantially better than CMake comes
along, which I don't expect to happen anytime soon.  Whereas Chicken
and Stalin compatibility libraries and interop will *NEVER* be here.
Not in any sense beyond 1 person's irreproducible homebrew that breaks
the 1st month they have to go get a real job.

I've spent 3 years evaluating what counts in open source.  THIS DOESN'T COUNT.

This isn't even about the prowess of any particular author who wishes
to take Chicken-Stalin on.  As cynical as I am about what
well-intentioned people can actually accomplish, the real issue is
LOOK AT YOUR PARTNER.  Stalin is the biggest joke from an open source
support standpoint that I've ever seen.  You're never going to get
anything out of its author.  His compiler is out there so that people
can do what they like with it, without bugging him about it.  It is a
research reference implementation and nothing more.  Great stuff if
you're getting your PhD in compiler design; otherwise, worthless.
Stalin's author knows that he's contributing to an academic corpus,
the "publish or perish" crowd.  He has NO INCENTIVE WHATSOEVER to
pursue the practical industrial things that we pursue in the Chicken

This pattern is abundant in the academic language research community.
You will find it with the SML/NJ crowd as well, to a lesser degree.
They make no bones about being academic guys, not open source
community building guys.

Felix's language leadership is very different from the academic
average.  Be thankful and avail yourself of it.

Nobody can tell anyone what to do in open source.  But I sure hope
someone out there is capable of learning from other people chopping
off their fingers, rather than chopping off their own.

Brandon Van Every

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