The endless droning

:: lisp, doomed

Someone asked about better Lisp IDEs on reddit. Such things would obviously be desirable. But the comments are entirely full the usual sad endless droning from people who need there always to be something preventing them from doing what they pretend to want to do, and are happy to invent such barriers where none really exist. comp.lang.lisp lives on in spirit if not in fact.

[The rest of this article is a lot ruder than the above and I’ve intentionally censored it from the various feeds. See also corrections and clarifications.]

The proper use of macros in Lisp

:: computer, lisp

People learning Lisp often try to learn how to write macros by taking an existing function they have written and turning it into a macro. This is a mistake: macros and functions serve different purposes and it is almost never useful to turn functions into macros, or macros into functions.

Computer insecurity

:: computer, security

Making computer systems secure is very difficult. The consequences of insecure systems are already extremely serious and will be catastrophic in future if they are not already. Malignant people, often sponsored by malignant states, are actively attacking computer systems and have had considerable success doing so.

So it is surprising that companies whose stated aims are to increase security are effectively working to make their customers’ systems less secure.


:: correction

Recently I wrote two articles about Richard Stallman (RMS) and the Free Software Foundation (FSF). Someone who is autistic wrote to me and pointed out some unfortunate implications of what I wrote, which were both wrong and offensive to neurodivergent people: I am sorry for that. The remainder of this article is an attempt to correct those mistakes.