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2 points by malisper 1981 days ago | link | parent

The problem with Arc as opposed to Clojure is that it is incomplete. It is missing some of the most basic features such as a a module system, a good debugger, and useful error messages. The reason none of us has come up with a solution to any of these deficiencies is that they are hard problems solve. We are all just waiting for pg to try to fix these problems instead of going out and solving them ourselves. If someone can solve these issues, pg or not, Arc should gain traction. I hate to say it, but if no one is going to do anything, Arc might as well already be dead.

2 points by akkartik 1981 days ago | link

I'm certainly not waiting for arc to become perfect. My side project may well end up needing me to reinvent a computing stack from scratch: But I fully expect it to take 20 years, so don't hold your breath :)


2 points by lark 1980 days ago | link

Are you fully sure there is no other way to do what you want to do without it taking 20 years?

That's a question worth pondering, not just because big things tend to fail or good design is simple, but also because life has a way of changing what people choose to do over time.


3 points by akkartik 1979 days ago | link

Yeah, I'm actually constantly looking for shortcuts, ways to not need to reinvent the stack, ways to build things that will help existing projects, or allow people to use existing languages and tools.

When I said 20 years I wasn't saying I have a plan that's going to take 20 years. I meant that I'm building small projects that -- when I step back -- seem to be headed in that general direction over time. Projects like wart[1], tracing tests[2] and layers[3]. I'm building these little projects out in the open, so hopefully I won't fall victim to the "hacker comes out of basement after 20 years with a compiler and OS that nobody cares about" failure mode. No, my goal is to fail in some more creative way :)

I'm less worried about my goals changing. On the one hand, if they do they do, one can't be anything but fatalistic about it. On the other hand the goals I outlined above seem to have hooked into my motivation at a deep level. I may well end up switching solutions I explore, but it seems like the goal is unlikely to change.

I haven't really started building anything for the past couple of months, but I've been thinking lately about three potential little projects: a) a simple multitasking OS without virtual memory or processes, maybe even without preemptive scheduling, b) a better language for teaching programming by separating scope from the notion of functions, and c) an assembly language with structured programming and lisp macros somehow. Something 'easy' to build without needing an entire C compiler. Rephrased: "I'm willing to do my own register allocation. What can you do for me, lisp?" :)

Mostly I just get up every morning and work on whatever I want. And these are the things I've been ending up working on.

Thanks for the question!