Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

modernism/postmodernism, was Re: CL and modernism

Expand Messages
  • Pascal Costanza
    ... Yep, you re right. I have read the paper completely this morning and got it. Common Lisp is modern in the sense that it is based on a simple powerful
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 30, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      "Logan, Patrick D" wrote:
      >
      > >> I have found it strange that Common Lisp is considered a modern language.
      > I would
      > rather have classified it as a post-modern language. <<
      >
      > Common Lisp like Smalltalk *traditionally* have been available as large
      > environments that are essentially operating systems unto themselves. This is
      > opposed to the post-modern Perl, TCL, Python, Ruby, and JVM languages like
      > Jacl, JPython, JScheme, SISC, etc. that combine a little of this with a
      > little of that and can play off each other.

      Yep, you're right. I have read the paper completely this morning and got
      it. Common Lisp is modern in the sense that it is based on a simple
      powerful concept that tells a "grand story".

      However, I still think that Common Lisp is more post-modern than, say,
      Scheme, in the sense that Common Lisp deliberately encourages you to use
      whatever programming paradigm you would like to use, and provides ways
      to combine these different paradigms (oo, imperative, functional, ...).
      So, Common Lisp doesn't tell you how to program, but incorporates many
      different programming styles and even allows you to "invent" new ones.
      In this way, by using Noble's and Biddle's terminology, Common Lisp is
      descriptive rather than prescriptive. (This is why I am so excited about
      Common Lisp right now.)

      Take for example the papers by Herbert Stoyan on the history of Lisp.
      (http://www8.informatik.uni-erlangen.de/html/lisp-enter.html) He mainly
      complains about the fact that people actually used Lisp. (!) Here is a
      quote from one of the conclusions: "As things stand, he [John McCarthy]
      must prefer SCHEME to CommonLISP -- a clear, understandable small
      diamond, to a messy, incomprehensible clump." This should prove the
      postmodern aspect of Common Lisp. ;-)

      Is it acceptable that a language is not either modern or postmodern, but
      somewhere in between? Noble and Biddle suggest that by mentioning PL/I
      and the CLR as examples that have both modern and postmodern elements.

      So, in order to get back on track again, my suggestion to base a truly
      "universal virtual machine" on a Common Lisp core would be a postmodern
      way to try to overcome the problems of today's computer science, by
      seducing people. This would imitate current "trends", like Java and CLR,
      and would offer fashionable languages to have a decent base, like Python
      and Ruby. It could potentially spread usage of Common Lisp again,
      although only under the hoods. (XML is another option: don't say
      "S-expressions are better than XML", say "it's great that you use XML
      and, by the way, here is a language that allows you to directly
      manipulate XML by just doing a minor transformation into something
      called S-expressions - don't mind the term"!)

      I don't know how likely it is that something like this could work out.

      However, another, totally different question is: do we actually want to
      use "postmodern tricks" like that, or do we want to get the world back
      on a "modern track" again?

      My impression is that some of us in the Feyerabend community think that
      "postmodernism" is one of the roots of the problem that needs to
      changed. For example, a postmodern phenomenon is (like Noble and Biddle
      show) that languages like Java or C# are not chosen because of their
      expressive power or their technical merits but because of clever
      advertising. (I do think they have social merits, but that's again
      another topic.) We can change "the world" either by telling people "the
      truth", or essentially by playing the same game. These are two different
      strategies.

      It's probably obvious that I am more on the postmodern side of the
      story. I think we can't get rid of postmodernism and its phenomena
      anymore and we have to find ways to live with it. (And I think it's
      possible - positively possible!)

      What do the others think? Who of you is for or against telling the truth
      and/or playing the same game?

      Pascal

      P.S.: Yes, I think this is a valid Feyerabend topic...

      --
      Pascal Costanza University of Bonn
      mailto:costanza@... Institute of Computer Science III
      http://www.pascalcostanza.de Römerstr. 164, D-53117 Bonn (Germany)
    • mddjlu235
      I find the modern/postmodern distinction interesting but the metaphor breaks down too quickly for me. Buckminster Fuller used the phrase Bare-Maximum as
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 31, 2002
      • 0 Attachment
        I find the modern/postmodern distinction interesting but the metaphor
        breaks down too quickly for me.

        Buckminster Fuller used the phrase "Bare-Maximum" as something
        desirable
        (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=bare-maximum).
        I like to think of ZetaLisp, CL and Smalltalk as representing a
        bare-maximums that work to make me productive in building interesting
        or complex
        systems. I find those bare-minimum languages to be like living in a
        tent, something that can be fun for a day or two but not a serious
        place to live. I find
        that working with a collection of little languages and tools is
        somewhat like living in a tent city.

        -djl


        --- In feyerabend-project@y..., Pascal Costanza <costanza@w...> wrote:
        > "Logan, Patrick D" wrote:
        > >
        > > >> I have found it strange that Common Lisp is considered a modern
        language.
        > > I would
        > > rather have classified it as a post-modern language. <<
        > >
        > > Common Lisp like Smalltalk *traditionally* have been available as
        large
        > > environments that are essentially operating systems unto
        themselves. This is
        > > opposed to the post-modern Perl, TCL, Python, Ruby, and JVM
        languages like
        > > Jacl, JPython, JScheme, SISC, etc. that combine a little of this
        with a
        > > little of that and can play off each other.
        >
        > Yep, you're right. I have read the paper completely this morning and
        got
        > it. Common Lisp is modern in the sense that it is based on a simple
        > powerful concept that tells a "grand story".
        >
        > However, I still think that Common Lisp is more post-modern than,
        say,
        > Scheme, in the sense that Common Lisp deliberately encourages you to
        use
        > whatever programming paradigm you would like to use, and provides
        ways
        > to combine these different paradigms (oo, imperative, functional,
        ...).
        > So, Common Lisp doesn't tell you how to program, but incorporates
        many
        > different programming styles and even allows you to "invent" new
        ones.
        > In this way, by using Noble's and Biddle's terminology, Common Lisp
        is
        > descriptive rather than prescriptive. (This is why I am so excited
        about
        > Common Lisp right now.)
        >
        > Take for example the papers by Herbert Stoyan on the history of
        Lisp.
        > (http://www8.informatik.uni-erlangen.de/html/lisp-enter.html) He
        mainly
        > complains about the fact that people actually used Lisp. (!) Here
        is a
        > quote from one of the conclusions: "As things stand, he [John
        McCarthy]
        > must prefer SCHEME to CommonLISP -- a clear, understandable small
        > diamond, to a messy, incomprehensible clump." This should prove the
        > postmodern aspect of Common Lisp. ;-)
        >
        > Is it acceptable that a language is not either modern or postmodern,
        but
        > somewhere in between? Noble and Biddle suggest that by mentioning
        PL/I
        > and the CLR as examples that have both modern and postmodern
        elements.
        >
        > So, in order to get back on track again, my suggestion to base a
        truly
        > "universal virtual machine" on a Common Lisp core would be a
        postmodern
        > way to try to overcome the problems of today's computer science, by
        > seducing people. This would imitate current "trends", like Java and
        CLR,
        > and would offer fashionable languages to have a decent base, like
        Python
        > and Ruby. It could potentially spread usage of Common Lisp again,
        > although only under the hoods. (XML is another option: don't say
        > "S-expressions are better than XML", say "it's great that you use
        XML
        > and, by the way, here is a language that allows you to directly
        > manipulate XML by just doing a minor transformation into something
        > called S-expressions - don't mind the term"!)
        >
        > I don't know how likely it is that something like this could work
        out.
        >
        > However, another, totally different question is: do we actually want
        to
        > use "postmodern tricks" like that, or do we want to get the world
        back
        > on a "modern track" again?
        >
        > My impression is that some of us in the Feyerabend community think
        that
        > "postmodernism" is one of the roots of the problem that needs to
        > changed. For example, a postmodern phenomenon is (like Noble and
        Biddle
        > show) that languages like Java or C# are not chosen because of their
        > expressive power or their technical merits but because of clever
        > advertising. (I do think they have social merits, but that's again
        > another topic.) We can change "the world" either by telling people
        "the
        > truth", or essentially by playing the same game. These are two
        different
        > strategies.
        >
        > It's probably obvious that I am more on the postmodern side of the
        > story. I think we can't get rid of postmodernism and its phenomena
        > anymore and we have to find ways to live with it. (And I think it's
        > possible - positively possible!)
        >
        > What do the others think? Who of you is for or against telling the
        truth
        > and/or playing the same game?
        >
        > Pascal
        >
        > P.S.: Yes, I think this is a valid Feyerabend topic...
        >
        > --
        > Pascal Costanza University of Bonn
        > mailto:costanza@w... Institute of Computer Science III
        > http://www.pascalcostanza.de Römerstr. 164, D-53117 Bonn (Germany)
      • Erann Gat
        ... I think telling the truth doesn t work. I can t think of a single example where the truth has prevailed over good marketing. Having some truth on
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 2, 2002
        • 0 Attachment
          On Fri, 30 Aug 2002, Pascal Costanza wrote:

          > We can change "the world" either by telling people "the
          > truth", or essentially by playing the same game. These are two different
          > strategies.

          ...

          > What do the others think? Who of you is for or against telling the truth
          > and/or playing the same game?

          I think "telling the truth" doesn't work. I can't think of a single
          example where "the truth" has prevailed over good marketing. Having some
          truth on your side makes the marketing job easier, but it isn't necessary,
          and it certainly isn't sufficient.

          > P.S.: Yes, I think this is a valid Feyerabend topic...

          I agree.

          E.
        • patrickdlogan
          ... Smalltalk as representing a bare-maximums that work to make me productive in building interesting or complex systems. I find those bare-minimum languages
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 2, 2002
          • 0 Attachment
            >> I like to think of ZetaLisp, CL and
            Smalltalk as representing a
            bare-maximums that work to make me
            productive in building interesting
            or complex
            systems. I find those bare-minimum
            languages to be like living in a
            tent, something that can be fun for a day
            or two but not a serious
            place to live. I find
            that working with a collection of little
            languages and tools is
            somewhat like living in a tent city. <<

            I think this is why Scheme in a JVM works
            so well for me. The JVM enables a very
            feature rich environment and Scheme enables
            a very powerful way to access the
            environment. This feels "bare maximum" in
            the sense that a Lisp machine used to feel
            that way, plus it grows with every useful
            Java class I find on the net. Kind of a
            dessert topping *and* a floor wax.
          • Mike Beedle
            ... Patrick wrote: Yep, sometime the tent just comes down in the middle of a storm. I recently gave up the prescriptive Java/XML implementation of a WFMC
            Message 5 of 5 , Sep 21, 2002
            • 0 Attachment
              Patrick Logan wrote:
              > >> I like to think of ZetaLisp, CL and
              > Smalltalk as representing a
              > bare-maximums that work to make me
              > productive in building interesting
              > or complex
              > systems. I find those bare-minimum
              > languages to be like living in a
              > tent, something that can be fun for a day
              > or two but not a serious
              > place to live. I find
              > that working with a collection of little
              > languages and tools is
              > somewhat like living in a tent city. <<

              Patrick wrote:

              Yep, sometime the tent just comes down in the middle
              of a storm.

              I recently gave up the prescriptive Java/XML
              implementation of a WFMC (workflow management coalition)
              compliant workflow management system (because of
              language and paradigm limitations), and turned the
              workflow system into a declarative CLIPS implementation
              using Jess. (Our goal is to eventually provide the
              implementation in SweetJess, Jess's XML cousin that uses
              DAML+OIL and Rule ML so that we can program in "XML" and
              satisfy what corporate America wants to hear:

              "It is in Java and in XML"

              we'll give them SweetJess :-) which is of course a
              logical-functional Trojan horse.

              Our code in Jess is about 1/5 of what it used to be and
              I can do things that are nearly impossible using
              the prescriptive and XML forms.

              Did I mention that it is also mobile, concurrent safe,
              and changeable at runtime (dynamic rules, functions, facts
              created on the fly)?

              The next release of Jess will add Lisp-like macros ....

              Btw, does anyone know of a native CLIPS implementation in
              Lisp? (Currently I added a PROLOG library to my lisp but
              it doesn't quite feel like CLIPS.)

              Patrick Logan wrote:
              > I think this is why Scheme in a JVM works
              > so well for me. The JVM enables a very
              > feature rich environment and Scheme enables
              > a very powerful way to access the
              > environment. This feels "bare maximum" in
              > the sense that a Lisp machine used to feel
              > that way, plus it grows with every useful
              > Java class I find on the net. Kind of a
              > dessert topping *and* a floor wax.

              Scheme is definitely a good place to be. In my case
              I needed features that were more akin to Curry (the
              logical Haskell cousin). In fact, in the future
              we are considering using the Xurry virtual machine (a logical-functional
              virtual machine that sits on top of Java).

              Some rough estimates indicate that our Xurry code will
              be between 1/5 and 1/10 of what our original wfmc
              prescriptive code used to look like,

              - Mike
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.