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1 point by akkartik 1412 days ago | link | parent

I watched it all and submitted a comment at http://brianwill.net/blog/2012/02/07/animvs-lisp-for-people-... which will hopefully eventually get through moderation.

I got the sense that the unbalanced parens are just a pedagogical device (though I'm not sure they helped me understand it any better). I didn't actually see any code samples with unbalanced parens. The final factorial example still had balanced parens which would be parse errors according to his earlier slide.

Above all, I'm left with a frustration that there isn't code to play with so I can clarify my confusions on my own and not get held up by ambiguities in some presentation. This is a common complaint of mine. Why do people do this? Why are they so concerned with getting it right before they're willing to let the world see it? If you throw it out earlier, who knows, somebody might come and contribute earlier. I'm more motivated to contribute when something is half-baked. Once you've figured it all out, it hardly seems worthwhile :)



1 point by rocketnia 1409 days ago | link

"This is a common complaint of mine. Why do people do this? Why are they so concerned with getting it right before they're willing to let the world see it? If you throw it out earlier, who knows, somebody might come and contribute earlier. I'm more motivated to contribute when something is half-baked. Once you've figured it all out, it hardly seems worthwhile :) "

This part of what you're saying could well be reasoning in favor of discussion before code. Coding is a process of developing ideas, but so is discussion. This person has let the world see their ideas in the form of a presentation, rather than obsessing over getting them "right" in the form of runnable code first.

Unless... you're not even asking for runnable code? Interesting. Are you asking for people to be comfortable enough to do public brain dumps of all their works-in-progress, regardless of how useful they expect them to be?

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1 point by akkartik 1409 days ago | link

No I want runnable code. But isn't all code somewhat runnable? Otherwise it wouldn't be code. Almost any project is runnable within a few hours.

Your argument assumes that the presentation is less work than code, but I don't think that's true. He's clearly put hours of effort into presentation, but there isn't enough for me to even be clear on what he's proposing. Code would be unambiguously concrete in this respect. Even if it only works some of the time, if it has bugs, etc. I'd be able to get a sense of how it ought to work.

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1 point by rocketnia 1408 days ago | link

"Almost any project is runnable within a few hours."

"Your argument assumes that the presentation is less work than code, but I don't think that's true."

I take this a little personally, because there are many projects where I still don't even know what I want several years in. :) Well, programming is all about knowing what one wants, but I mean I don't even know these projects well enough to identify the core program I should start with. But I like to think I thrive on these ideas, because interesting big projects are the main reason I even give a second thought to little one-day projects.

Also, programming has a skill aspect to it. Unless someone's used a certain tool or technique before, it can be frustrating and intimidating. I personally find several things frustrating that others take for granted, like Emacs, Vim, manual memory management, the command line, and yes, riding a bicycle. :-p If someone's not ready to code up even a hackish language yet, I can relate.

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1 point by akkartik 1408 days ago | link

I certainly didn't mean to make it personal. I didn't even think I was talking about you.

I vaguely sense that we're using very different meanings for words like "runnable", "less work", "program", "project" and "right". But now I'm afraid to pick at this further.

I'm not claiming there should be no discussion without code, or that people must have working code when making a proposal, or anything nearly that strong. In this case from the certainty and polish of the presentation I assumed he knows what he wants. And he's referred to code so we know it's not a pure spec. So the bottleneck seems to lie in me understanding his proposal. And I was suggesting that sharing whatever code he has might help me over that hump. Showing code can only ever help, never hurt.

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2 points by rocketnia 1408 days ago | link

"I certainly didn't mean to make it personal. I didn't even think I was talking about you. [...] now I'm afraid to pick at this further."

Oh, sorry. I'm personally invested in this topic, but I'm not offended. But come to think of it, my post was a few claims fluffed up with personal foibles in place of other justification, and thanks for not being eager to refute the acceptableness of my foibles. :-p

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"In this case..."

I don't have much of an opinion in this particular case. I was spurred on by the "common complaint" that people don't share their code in progress, and I'm interested in what kind of overall strategy we should pursue in response.

- Social networks for code sharing (e.g. package managers, HTTP, GitHub)?

- Collaborative development of large-scale online worlds (e.g. Wikipedia)?

- Socially encouraging or discouraging people to program depending on their personality?

- Investigating what kinds of programming problems are so mathematically exotic that meaningful code is exactly the thing that's hardest to develop?

- Different laws and licenses related to sharing code?

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"And he's referred to code so we know it's not a pure spec."

I don't remember that part. I did skip a few boring parts in the video. ^_^;;

Hmm, maybe I even consider runnable code to be relatively boring and forgettable. XD; Probably depends on whether it's a product I'm eager to use right away. ^_^

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1 point by akkartik 1408 days ago | link

Socially encouraging or discouraging people to program depending on their personality?

Yeah, my hypothesis is that it's a psychological thing. Putting something out there is scary.

But this guy is putting out stuff, just not code. So my theory breaks down there :/ Never mind, let me just invite him over: http://brianwill.net/blog/2012/02/07/animvs-lisp-for-people-...

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