phil wrote:Is the reason that Common Lisp receives so much criticism because there really are so many problems in the language that it stops you from using it or is it because people observe a resistance to change the language in the community?
I believe it is a bit of both, or sort of. CL has some defects. I didn't read the article that Jasper mention mostly because I've probably seen many (most?) of these common criticisms to Common Lisp and I am even tired of reading those and thinking about what I agree or what I don't. I like the language the way it is, and it has its little problems, and I won't care until I have some big impediments when using CL.
It is most likely that at least 70% of complains about CL are just newbies that are having difficulties to adapt themselves to the language. Sometimes (not all times) they are just finding some excuses not to keep learning CL. Lisp in general is a complex language, people won't learn it if they don't have a reason to do so.
The other criticisms are real, made by people who really have some impediment in the language that mostly don't keep them from using it. I believe the only big impediment from using CL is the lack of libraries or programs in CL, well, when there really is an impediment. Well, ok, I might be wrong here. And there won't be lack of libraries if people use it.
CL is ANSI, and CL comunity is spread, it doesn't have a "center", so the language won't change so easily. If there are just some people who don't like it the way it is, it doesn't matter, it will keep that way. There probably will only have real changes in the ANSI spec if some company or association or whatever (with enough power or influence over the comunity) decide that it is time to build a new standard because of a serious limitation of CL, and invest people or money to do so. Otherwise, I don't think there will be any changes at all.
Well, this is just my opinion. If changes come and they are for the best, then it's fine; if they don't come, I'll keep programming in CL anyway. I just think it is already time for me to stop complaining and start programming. CL desperately needs users. Look at the language C. It is the worst programming language ever (ok, there are worse languages, I am just being a bit dramatic
) but it has so many users that people keep using it whatsoever - even a watch can be programmed in C, most (all?) operating systems are made in C... And I believe that the same argument can be given about Windows XP being so widely used.