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EuLisp meeting in Bath -- Private Message


I'm glad to hear that you survived the encunter at Bath.  I'd be
interested in your views on whether the Eulisp group is going to hang
together once they get into hard choices.  How deep are the splits?

A couple of reactions to your note:

    When an ISO group is
    formed, some Common Lisp decisions will have to be revisited in
    forming a consensus, but don't be surprised if a lot of the
    Europeans back the existing Common Lisp approach (and of course
    others oppose it).  The ones who wanted to change a lot of things
    did not seem to have very strong support within the group (but
    remember they were on their good behavior for a foreign visitor).

I've got no problem with revisiting some Common Lisp decisions.  There's
never any harm in talking about things.  I will have a big problem with
changing any of these decisions on purely aesthetic grounds.  If the
Europeans intend to ignore the effect of changes on existing code and
implementations, then no consensus will be possible, since their goals
for this effort are fundamentally incompatible with ours.

    There seems to be a real feeling of exclusion of
    Europeans from the Common Lisp decision making.

The Europeans were excluded from the initial Common Lisp design process
for three reasons: (1) Lousy netmail connections to Britain at the time,
and none to the continent, (2) nobody over there expressed any interest
in participating, (3) it didn't occur to anyone in our group to seek out
possible European players.  That's all history now; it can't be changed.

We should continue to empahsize that any Europeans who subscribe to our
goal of refining and standardizing the existing Common Lisp design
(perhaps by developing a multi-level spec) are more than welcome to
participate and, if it is someone with a sufficient reputation, to be on
the technical or steering committee.

We should continue to emphasize that if their goals are fundamentally
incompatible with ours, they are welcome to develop their own separate
language, as long as they don't try to stop us from doing what we need
to do.

We should be willing to talk about any changes they want to make, but
should make clear that we are not going to condier changes without
considering their cost to existing users and implementors.

What more can we do?  As far as I'm concerned, Chailloux is welcome to
join the technical committee whenever he wants to, but not if he doesn't
agree with its goals.

-- Scott