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Bay Area Lisp meetup
4 points by akkartik 2340 days ago | 4 comments

There's a meetup this weekend. Anybody wanna come over and chat about arc in person?


3 points by akkartik 2336 days ago | link

This was a lot of fun. Among many other things, I found out that Ron Garret (lisper) wants to get Joe Sixpack to host his own webservices -- his Google, his Facebook, etc. -- so that he controls his data and so on. It was mindblowing to realize someone else (and someone respected) had this crazy idea as well and wasn't rejecting it out of hand.

In response, waterhouse pointed me at, which is most entertaining.


Another highlight for me: idoh shared why he prefers arc to racket:

1. Less constrained defmacro macros that do what you mean. This is made possible by ignoring worries about hygiene.

2. A webserver that transparently reflects changes at the repl. This is made possible because mutable state isn't thread-private by default.

It was a welcome reminder of the fundamentals.

(Continuing my rant from

All this effort goes into engineering constraints that at least a significant constituent of users (those new to programming, or those just looking to get a facebook app out asap) are actively hindered by. I think the pressure to over-engineer/industrial-strength-ify comes from two concerns:

a) those who want to make the code go faster, and

b) those who are afraid of what nameless other programmers might do and how to avoid stepping on each other's toes. (See, for example,

I have a lot of sympathy for a) after my recent experiences, and I think we should try harder to work on performance without compromising Core Lisp Principles (tm).

To those concerned about b) I say, "go use Java" :p When I program in lisp I expect to have just a handful of collaborators, and I expect to know the antecedents of any libraries and modules I use. And to have lots of unit tests for maximum paranoia. Trust, but verify.


3 points by thaddeus 2335 days ago | link

No lisp meet ups ever occur in Canada! - ugh :( And In all likelihood I'm probably like one of 5 people in Canada who both uses lisp and enjoys it. grumble, grumble...

Plus, while I'm ranting, it really kinda sux not having local lispers around to drink beer with :). Oh well.... after the fifth pint we're all lispers anyways.


2 points by zck 2339 days ago | link

I would be up for it, but unfortunately, I'm in New York.

That said, if anyone's in NYC, we should meet up. Reply here, or contact info in profile, etc.


3 points by idoh 2338 days ago | link

I'm coming. Long time no see btw!