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Contributed code

 >To: info-mcl@ministry.cambridge.apple.com
 >Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp.mcl
 >From: liberte@cs.uiuc.edu (Daniel LaLiberte)
 >Subject: Contributed code
 >Sender: news@cs.uiuc.edu
 >Organization: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Dept CS
 >Date: Fri, 28 May 1993 22:58:44 GMT
 >I think all this contributed software is great.  But I have a problem
 >with the bundling that some people do.  Packages are much easier to
 >use if they are unbundled and with as few dependencies on other
 >packages as possible.  If there is a problem with assuming a standard
 >defsystem, then that needs to be fixed.  If there is not a good way
 >to express dependencies, then that needs to be fixed.  
 >I continue to be surprised by the level and number of contributions
 >for the Common Lisp world relative to the GNU Emacs Lisp world.
 >I'm not sure what the reasons for this are, other than that GNU Emacs is
 >free.  I would think that the Common Lisp world would have things better
 >organized by now.
 >Dan LaLiberte
 >(Join the League for Programming Freedom: lpf@uunet.uu.net)

Yes, it does need to be fixed. I think it'd be great if you know
someone who could volunteer to help the Lisp standards committee
(X3J13) define and implement a standard defsystem. As I understand
it, they're short on volunteers these days, so your help would be
greatly appreciated. It's probably better to hold this discussion
on the general lisp group (comp.lang.lisp) rather than on Info-MCL, since
it affects all Common Lisp users equally.

In the meantime, please feel free to help organize the contrib dir at 
cambridge.apple.com! I recommend that you publish a template, and help 
authors convert their code to fit it. I'm sure Mark Kantrowitz, who
maintains the cl-utilities repository at CMU, would also be interested
in such an effort.

The number of hacker-hours spent on organizing the GNU contribs
is certainly a lot more than that spent on lisp. The contributed code
for lisp are just as free as the contributions for GNU, so being free
alone can't be the cause of the difference. I think it's probably
something more to do with the relative sizes of the respective user
populations, and how much "spare time" (i.e., not committed to
earning a salary) those users have.