July 28th, 2009

Boston Lisp Meeting

Last night's Lisp meeting was pretty interesting. Bruce "ourdoings" Lewis gave a short presentation on how supportive Lisp is of implementing "wishful thinking" code, i.e. writing first the code you wish you could write, then actually implementing it. He gave a high-level overview of a particular macro for displaying groups of rows from a database query in a special way. Then he compared it code for the same task from a PHP-howto site; there was a lot more manual bookkeeping and opportunities to go wrong whenever making changes.

Richard Kreuter came up next for a spirited talk that was broadly about system construction tools, with specific points about end-user library packaging, product deployment, ASDF's design problems and the lessons to be learned from them, and more. Lots of people in the audience had an opinion and perspective on things he covered, and he frequently stopped to go over points in finer detail or to go off on digressions based on the questions he got. It's the kind of discussion that's difficult to pull off online, and I was glad I was there in person to witness it.

Fare's organizational (or at least food procurement) skill was sorely missed, because the promised free food never materialized. Instead, ten or so of us went off to the Cambridge Brewing Company afterwards for good food, beer, and discussion. Bruce gave me a demo of ourdoings, and within about two minutes, entirely from my phone, I had my own ourdoings page. It's pretty slick.

On August 7th, at 6pm, lukego will be hanging out with whoever shows up at the Cambridge Brewing Company. If everyone who appreciates his work on SLIME shows up and buys him a beer, he will probably need hospitalization.