[racket] Mark Tarver is the man!

From: Bloch Stephen (bloch at adelphi.edu)
Date: Mon Jan 2 01:06:58 EST 2012

On Jan 1, 2012, at 6:14 PM, Racket Noob wrote:

> For all you dear academic Racket scribomans, here's a lesson from  
> Mark Tarver, the ingenious inventor of a new lisp-like language,  
> Shen (more on that beautiful language can be found here: http:// 
> http://shenlanguage.org).
> In his article "Why I am Not a Professor", this clever man says the  
> following:
>  [snipped]

The only startling things about the passage are (a) that Mr. Tarver  
seems to believe he's made a new discovery that had escaped everybody  
else's notice, and (b) that you believe this too.

Seriously, all of us who are in academia know all that: we put up  
with the publish-or-perish system and try to find a way to do  
something constructive despite it.  Most of us don't claim to be  
Mozarts, and claim only to be making incremental progress in our own  
corners of human knowledge, so it's no great revelation that we're  
not all Mozarts.  Some pieces of progress (like Racket) are more  
applicable to the real world than others (like my own dissertation,  
on function-algebraic characterizations of parallel computational  
complexity classes).

> Reading the above lines, I was very much reminded of the hundreds  
> of PLT academic papers which correspond quite closely with the  
> above Tarver's description. :) What do you say to this, Neil? And  
> the rest of PLT?

"What do you say to this?" can only be read as an attempt to prod  
people into defending themselves, and/or attacking you.  Neither of  
which is the purpose of this list.  We're here to discuss how to use  
this really cool tool to solve real problems, and come up with ways  
to make the tool even cooler than it already is.  One way to do the  
latter is to improve the documentation, and if you have constructive  
suggestions on how to do so ("this sucks" is not constructive), I  
have no doubt those suggestions will be taken gratefully.  If you  
have real and important problems to solve, more important or more  
novel than what we've addressed in our various academic papers, we'd  
love to hear about them, and will cheerfully provide suggestions on  
how (and whether) to use Racket to solve them.  If all you have are  
insults and argument-mongering, please go away.

Stephen Bloch
sbloch at adelphi.edu

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