In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Dan Haskell <email@example.com> wrote:
>In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Erik Naggum wrote:
>>the Distinguished Professor of Computer Science has turned into a Marketing
>>Droid. how incredibly sad.
>>| If you want to know the truth, I think you need to stop making
>>| superficial excuses and ask deeper semantic questions.
>>the way I read this debate, people are asking deep, semantic questions of
>>Tcl and they get superficial excuses for answers.
>How sad for you if you think that ad homonym arguments and insults
>constitute deep semantic questions.
>Can we skip the attacks on Dr Ousterhout and discuss the issue at hand?
I think that would be great. But in defense of the Tcl skeptics,
I have to say that my take on this thread is quite different.
Like any usenet thread, there's a mix of good posts and bad posts. But
many of the postings here HAVE asked deeper semantic questions, and they
have generally gone unanswered.
Critizing someone's writing as superficial, simplistic, and misleading is
NOT an ad hominem argument, if you make a decent case that it's true.
Certainly on both sides some of the rhetoric has been unnecessarily
inflammatory, but I wouldn't say that the Tcl skeptics have been
particularly bad on average. Dr. Ousterhout has the right to write
papers that seem to flatter Tcl, and others have the right to question
Unfortunately, Dr. Ousterhout has not yet taken the opportunity to
reply constructively to the serious technical questions that have
been raised. Of course he can't be expected to reply to every
question or criticism in such a torrent, but it doesn't look good that
so far he's chosen the easy way out. In one instance, he selected the
most ill-considered posting to reply to---the one saying that Tcl was
a success mainly due to corporate backing, which is of course ludicrous.
(It's good that he made that very clear, but he's ignored the serious
questions that have been asked.)
And in his most recent posting, he apparently tried to end the discussion
by likening his critics to a bunch of lunatic-fringe paranoids who simply
cannot be reasoned with. In fact, most of them appear to be sincere and
well-informed skeptics asking serious questions. Some are even heavy
Tcl users who simply wonder why they can't have a little more cake and eat
a bit more of it too.
Sure, Dr. Ousterhout tried to avoid seeming like a bad guy, by presenting
his it in as a joking manner, but I think the implications are quite
clear---his critics are just a bunch of fanatical losers who aren't worth
Now remind us, what's an ad hominem argument again?
And what are those who are on the fence supposed to think of all this?
| Paul R. Wilson, Comp. Sci. Dept., U of Texas @ Austin (email@example.com)
| Papers on memory allocators, garbage collection, memory hierarchies,
| persistence and Scheme interpreters and compilers available via ftp from
| ftp.cs.utexas.edu, in pub/garbage (or http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/wilson/)