[intra-lisp-group] Welcome!

Brandon J. Van Every bvanevery at gmail.com
Fri Apr 7 15:27:12 PDT 2006

Heow Eide-Goodman wrote:
> Definately, similar groups have similar problems as LispNYC is in
> constant touch with the Smalltalk group for that very reason.
> Since I know some CL-diehards would consider fraternizing with Schemers
> a hanging offense, what sort of problems have you had when casting such
> a wide net?   :-)
We don't have enough people doing any kind of FP in Seattle to get into 
that kind of polemic nonsense.  This is Microsoft's backyard.  We'd be 
lucky to see any advance of any FP language into industry at all.  If I 
had been in the SF Bay Area instead of up here in Seattle, I don't think 
I would have had nearly the same career problems over the past 2 years.  
There just aren't any FP jobs.

Also, um, this might sound harsh, but we're a *FP* interest group.  We 
are more likely to take the side of the Schemers than the Lispers as to 
what constitutes a hanging offense.  More seriously, the group has a 
level of academic sophistication, especially among the core membership.  
We're not going to hang somebody, we're going to recognize the tradeoffs 
of various implementations and industrial practices.  We're also 
interested in recruiting people, so we don't offer any bigotry to 
newcomers.  Our webpage http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SeaFunc/ says:

"Anyone interested in the design or use of advanced programming 
languages - functional or not - is encouraged to come. We've been 
meeting consistently since June 2004. We always have 8-10 people, so 
many good networking contacts can be gained. SeaFunc aims to be the 
premiere group in the Seattle region for advanced programming language 
paradgims. If you think there must be more to life than C++, Java, and 
C#, please join us!"

We've run into one multi-language problem so far.  Jeff Henrikson has 
this idea about getting people to actually code things at meetings.  
He's an OCaml guy, but nobody else really is.  I was starting to be once 
upon a time, and in fact I created an OCaml SIG to help with my learning 
curve.  But eventually I dumped it for Bigloo Scheme.  I don't like 
OCaml's C FFI, and as a game developer, low-level stuff is important to 
me.  I could see myself trying again someday, but I'm not switching 
horses right now.  I did 2 years of horse switching and it got me nowhere.

Anyways, just about everybody is on their own language, or their own 
implementation of the language, i.e. Schemes.  So, nice idea that Jeff 
has, it's difficult to get organized.  Myself, I'm still drowning in 
getting Chicken Scheme toolchains to work and getting up to speed with 
them.  Plus I don't have a laptop.  This could all change in the next 
several months, but I just don't have the time or the money right now.  
So, Jeff's brainchild will need a lot of personal pushing from Jeff, and 
he doesn't seem to be putting much time into it right now either.

I would say infrastructurally, there's all sorts of marketing and 
promotion that we each could be doing... but we're not doing it.  People 
don't make the time.  I'm probably the most marketing and least 
technically oriented of the bunch, and even I haven't made the time.  In 
fact I stopped running the group because I wanted a break from the time, 
and I was disillusioned with the effort needed.  It's not that hard to 
get 8..10 people to talk about FP tech every 3 weeks.  It's difficult, 
however, to marshal this base to take on bigger things.

Brandon Van Every

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