modernism/postmodernism, was Re: CL and modernism
- 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
I like to think of ZetaLisp, CL and Smalltalk as representing a
bare-maximums that work to make me productive in building interesting
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.
--- 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
> > I would
> > rather have classified it as a post-modern language. <<
> > Common Lisp like Smalltalk *traditionally* have been available as
> > environments that are essentially operating systems unto
themselves. This is
> > opposed to the post-modern Perl, TCL, Python, Ruby, and JVM
> > Jacl, JPython, JScheme, SISC, etc. that combine a little of this
> > little of that and can play off each other.
> Yep, you're right. I have read the paper completely this morning and
> 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,
> Scheme, in the sense that Common Lisp deliberately encourages you to
> whatever programming paradigm you would like to use, and provides
> to combine these different paradigms (oo, imperative, functional,
> So, Common Lisp doesn't tell you how to program, but incorporates
> different programming styles and even allows you to "invent" new
> In this way, by using Noble's and Biddle's terminology, Common Lisp
> descriptive rather than prescriptive. (This is why I am so excited
> Common Lisp right now.)
> Take for example the papers by Herbert Stoyan on the history of
> (http://www8.informatik.uni-erlangen.de/html/lisp-enter.html) He
> complains about the fact that people actually used Lisp. (!) Here
> quote from one of the conclusions: "As things stand, he [John
> 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,
> somewhere in between? Noble and Biddle suggest that by mentioning
> and the CLR as examples that have both modern and postmodern
> So, in order to get back on track again, my suggestion to base a
> "universal virtual machine" on a Common Lisp core would be a
> way to try to overcome the problems of today's computer science, by
> seducing people. This would imitate current "trends", like Java and
> and would offer fashionable languages to have a decent base, like
> 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
> 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
> However, another, totally different question is: do we actually want
> use "postmodern tricks" like that, or do we want to get the world
> on a "modern track" again?
> My impression is that some of us in the Feyerabend community think
> "postmodernism" is one of the roots of the problem that needs to
> changed. For example, a postmodern phenomenon is (like Noble and
> 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
> truth", or essentially by playing the same game. These are two
> 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
> and/or playing the same game?
> 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)
- 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
> What do the others think? Who of you is for or against telling the truthI think "telling the truth" doesn't work. I can't think of a single
> and/or playing the same game?
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.
>> I like to think of ZetaLisp, CL andSmalltalk as representing a
bare-maximums that work to make me
productive in building interesting
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.
- Patrick Logan wrote:
> >> I like to think of ZetaLisp, CL andPatrick wrote:
> 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. <<
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 worksScheme is definitely a good place to be. In my case
> 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.
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,