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2 points by i4cu 11 days ago | link | parent

Don't let my comments stop you. Your thinking is quite valid. I'm just trying to contribute my opinion in hopes of helping you shape whatever you decide.

> It might actually help some, since separating more could allow us to really focus on and develop our unique points of experimental language hacking.

As far as I can tell, pretty much everyone has moved over to anarki, so I don't understand your comment. How does creating a separate forum for anarki help to "focus on and develop our unique points of experimental language hacking"?





3 points by shader 9 days ago | link

Thank you for your opinions; it really does help me clarify my own thoughts. That and I rather dislike talking to myself for more than a few minutes at a time...

Currently, this is an Arc forum. People are drawn here from pg's posts about Arc, and their attraction to the simplicity and beauty of the language. Also probably dreams of silver bullets... That won't stop just because we make a separate community, and I really don't think there's anything wrong with it.

However, I think we're also torn a bit between maintaining basically a bugfix version of arc, or going on to develop it further.

The question then is what "further" means - which direction would it go? One answer is that it can't really be predicted; creating such a community would be a way to find out.

On the other hand I can speculate, based on what I've seen of this community so far.

People come, entranced by pg's vision of arc, and then find out that the code base itself is really small and approachable. In general, lisp variants are used by people who like to make the language fit their needs, but where most dialects would add to the language via macros, with arc (or anarki) people find it just as easy to hack on the core of the language itself. Eventually this leads them to forking it, or building their own implementation in javascript or something.

I suspect this is partly because arc is so small, and does not have many standard libraries or a package system. You can read it all in a fairly short amount of time. So the fact that most of the code is aimed at developing arc means that the easiest thing to develop with it is... arc.

This trend of exploration and extension will undoubtedly continue, and I think it will be much more free to develop into something significant if we simply look at anarki with the slightly different perspective that having a separate community site we could actually upgrade might offer. Instead of being weighed down by arc as the 'community bugfix edition', it could become a 'language based on arc' with a solid foundation, but room to grow.

The core paradigms and strengths of arc appear to be "exploratory programming", and "language hacking". I think it would be cool if we could develop the former beyond the latter, but who knows how it will turn out?

Of course, I may be entirely off-base here myself...

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3 points by i4cu 9 days ago | link

Ahh, I see. That make sense now.

Hmm, you know, a new anarki forum could have the benefit of adding a tags feature for posts. A few good tags could be 'lang-design', 'arc', 'anarki', 'help', etc., etc. Not only would this allow our subtypes of members to zero in on their content of interest, but would make searching for meaningful info much easier. Now that would probably make me jump over.

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3 points by shader 9 days ago | link

Yep, improving the forum would help a lot, in a lot of ways.

I've often thought that the structure of the news.arc forum is rather unhelpful for the arc community, especially now that we're so small and lethargic. Conversations can go extended periods of time without comment, so they get locked. Or they fall off the front page, and hard to find again. Neither is conducive to long-term development and improvement; we probably lose a lot of valuable work and ideas that way.

One thing I'm considering as part of developing a new community site is collecting and archiving all of the arclanguage.org content, so we can actually access it. And preserve it, if the site goes down.

But I end up wasting all my time on discussion, instead of actually making progress on that...

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3 points by shader 8 days ago | link

Somehow i managed to trip the DoS prevention, and now my home IP is blocked. I almost thought the site actually did go down...

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3 points by shader 8 hours ago | link

Anyone know how long an IP stays banned? Or what I can do about it? Rather inconvenient not to be able to check the forum from home...

I suppose I could set up a proxy or something. And I was planning on scraping everything to a new community site anyway, so maybe I should take this as the incentive to do so.

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2 points by hjek 7 hours ago | link

Amazing you managed to get your IP banned!

Hacker News has an IP unpanning procedure[0] but I don't think Arc Forum has one.

In the Arc 3.1 code there is a function `set-ip-ban` for unbanning users, but no `unban` op.

(Someone should add that to Anarki, actually.)

[0]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4761102

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2 points by i4cu 3 hours ago | link

Looks as though it ranks how bad you are and always keeps the baddest of the bad-asses in cache, while never deleting any from disk. In a low volume site like this I doubt you'll get out of it without contacting them.

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1 point by akkartik 6 hours ago | link

Hmm, I wonder if it stays banned until they restart the server. I'd ping hn@ycombinator.com.

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2 points by akkartik 9 days ago | link

I did ping the HN admins about the lock period a year or two ago, and they were kind enough to extend it for us. It's now 90 days, if I recall correctly.

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2 points by akkartik 10 days ago | link

We still get newcomers with questions about Arc 3.1.

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2 points by i4cu 10 days ago | link

Sure, but from what I can see they soon quickly discover they need to use anarki and move over.

And impacting newbies does not appear to be considered in "focus on and develop our unique points of experimental language hacking". So...

edit: maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me what he really wants is a language design group. And I'm fine with that, but I think it's wrong to conflate anarki users with language designers. They are not one in the same.

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3 points by shader 9 days ago | link

I was expecting arclanguage.org to stay mostly as it is. Support for newcomers to arc would be included in that.

You may not be entirely wrong, but I probably shouldn't have tried to compress a description of a language used and developed by a loosely federated group of unique individuals into a single phrase.

I can try to unpack it a bit...

"Experimental (language) hacking" -> Exploratory programming is supposedly a primary paradigm of arc

"Experimental language hacking" -> Arc isn't exactly production ready; it's a very experimental language, and that makes it fun (and sometimes frustrating) to use, and easier to explore new directions and possibilities. You're less likely to reverently assume that the way it is is the way it must be.

"Experimental language hacking" -> And yes, we hack on arc itself. So I am thinking a bit of a language design community, I guess. In an anarchic language community though, the lines between 'users' and 'designers' become rather vague...

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2 points by shader 9 days ago | link

Yep. We should definitely keep answering them too.

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