The only practical alternative to BDFL is design by committee. For Anarki, the committee is anyone with git installed. Much as I love the work being done on Anarki, the model won't scale and either pg, nex3 or someone else will end up having to make the decisions.
So I'm sort of saying... it'll work out in the end, maybe.
The conflict I see is between pg releasing Arc at this very early stage because he found it useable vs you all going batsh*t over the volatility. You are both right! It is great that the users are chomping at the bit for something stable, but pg warned everyone that this was an experimental release and he planned to trash all our code at will. :)
Looking at Arc as a Lisp veteran I can assure you all that you totally need to reset your expectations and sign up for a fun exploration of a possible (emphasis on possible, because the more I learn of Lisp-1 the more I consider it a grave error) ... of a possible sweet spot in the abstract Lisp language space.
If Lisp-1 does turn out to be a grave error, it doesn't seem like it would be that difficult to either add the Scheme features that make Lisp-1 work, or turn it into a Lisp-2, given the side of the Arc codebase.
Right now, I'm just looking for the best Lisp to develop web applications with. Ruby on Rails is my benchmark, and I think it can be improved on with Lisp, but that remains conjecture at this point.
Just to be clear. I'm not asking for stability at this point. I agree that maintaining backward compatibility would waste time & effort. Arc can still evolve like crazy and break existing code, but it would be nice to have a way for the community to feed patches & bug fixes to pg besides the Arc forum.
No, it does not work that way, although people who do not understand macros (such as Guido) live in fear of that hobgoblin.
Macros are not used to create unrecognizable languages. They are used when an API has grown to the point where writing the code to use it can be automated. That is probably hard to parse if you fear macros, because you can only fear macros if you do not know how they are used. But the idea is simple.
This little call tends to require this little call before it and this little call after it, or something like that. And this pattern appears often enough, or the Lisp developer recognizes it as the sort of thing that will appear again and again, and they just say, macro time!
They then give the macro a totally comprehensible name derived from the bits of the API being hit and, golly, no confusion.
The other time you see macros is in things like aif. There will only be so many of these, and they will confuse people not at all.
It seems to me some people want macros to be a problem. They never are.
We almost agree. :) I don't know, when they look at your functions do they know what they do? When they see a class name do they understand the class hierarchy? Or do they start browsing? As for repeat(i, limit) being banned, I presume because no one could guess what it does, well, I am looking at bartender's school. The more I learn about software the harder it is to work with some people. :) But I don't blame Dilbert on the C preprocessor.
LOL. I think the problem, partly, is the fact that we're attached to a Japanese company and the Japanese might not have that good a grasp of what "repeat" means (they tend to have a sneering attitude to anything non-Japanese, which means they suffer in the english-language department). I did manage to talk some guys into using repeat, but they got ordered by the Japanese to change it to "for", presumably because the Japanese knew "for", didn't know what "repeat" meant, and couldn't figure out how #define worked.
Edit: Too bad I'm a teetotaler, I'd have gone to bartender school too.