I have, recently, seen a more sophisticated version of
"there are no libraries for Common Lisp" (there's quite a
few). THis more sophisticated version does have something
going for it, at that. Paraphrased, it is "There are very
few Common Lisp libraries that have a bus number higher
For those of you who haven't heard of the term "bus number"
as it applies to projects (IT projects, I think,
specifically), it is the number of key people that need to
be hit by a bus to make the project grind to a halt.
An inactive project obviously has a bus number of zero (it
can't really progress any slower). Most projects that are
driven by a single person have a bus number of one. Most of
the libraries I am responsible for is in this category
(though I shroud myself in the comfortable illusion that at
least GENHASH is sufficiently well documented that most
anyone with a few spare hours should be able to whip up a
library with the same API).
To an extent, I think there's something to that view (that
is "language X is riskier than language Y, because a% of
LangX libraries have a bus number <=1, whereas only b%
(where b << a) of langY libraries do"), but at the same
time, I do wonder if it's such a massive risk. After all,
most CL libraries are distributed as source and that means
"developer killed by bus" is no worse than "no more
updates". Any and all bugs can (and if the library is "big"
and "important" enough, will) be fixed, one way or another.
Maybe with some initial forking, before consolidating
It would be interesting to know to what extent this is just
a perceived problem for Common Lisp contra other languages.
At least I know there's now several libraries with multiple
committers, so with any luck, this problem will solve
itself, given time.