[intra-lisp-group] Welcome!

Brandon J. Van Every bvanevery at gmail.com
Wed Apr 5 19:39:21 PDT 2006

Heow Eide-Goodman wrote:
> Has anyone bothered to read the "homework" ?  :-)  Comments?  
Said homework being:


I didn't, because we already started our group awhile ago, and we've 
sustained it.  Our interest is in growing our group, not just getting 
started.  We also aren't worried about being called a "LUG" because 
that's not our name.

> ...and how did you get your group together?
SeaFunc http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SeaFunc/ was formed by the merger 
of the OCaml / ML group that I originally started, and the Lisp + Scheme 
groups that Brian Rice started.  It was Jeff Henrikson's brainchild to 
merge the groups into a stronger common entity for Functional 
Programming.  Our full title is properly the "Seattle Functional 
Programmers."  I led the group for the past year, which means, I called 
the meetings, made the announcements, selected venues and got other 
people to approve them, and showed up at every meeting.  We typically 
have 8..10 people per meeting.  Some people have talked about starting 
an Eastside chapter, but I haven't seen those people translate their 
thoughts into action.  My rule of thumb is you need 3 consistent, 
reliable people to start a group.  That's the quorum.

Recently I stepped down as the group leader, because I've had a lot of 
frustration with the FP paradigm and don't see that it has increased my 
real world productivity in any way at all.  I'm totally unconvinced that 
I should tell any real world programmer to abandon their mature tools 
and cast their lot with any kind of FP.  I nevertheless remain committed 
to my Chicken Scheme 
http://www.call-with-current-continuation.org/index.html projects, 
particularly getting it to build with CMake http://www.cmake.org .  This 
is largely because I've established good working relationships with the 
people who run those projects, and I do think both technologies have the 
potential to "do everything right."  I just don't have sufficient gusto 
for FP to function as the group leader right now.  Plus I've been doing 
it for a year, longer if you count 8 months of ML stuff before that.

So, Jeff Henrikson has taken over announcement responsibility for the 
next 6 months, and David Bremner is dealing with the mailing list and 
polls.  I think getting others to assume more responsibility is a phase 
that groups have to pass through, and it's one I've been through 
before.  I could see myself assuming the mantle again, once I've had 
more success with FP.

As far as we know, we are the "official" Lisp group of the region.  And 
the official ML group.  And the official Haskell group by default, 
although I don't remember any Haskell person ever attending.  I bugged 
the Haskell guys about whether they had a group out here and crickets 
chirped, so I assume we're it.  Anyways our multiple language strategy 
has allowed us to prosper, whereas our individual language groups were 
very much at risk for implosion.  Something to consider if you're 
starting your own language group from scratch.

Brandon Van Every

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