The Spirit of LtU
This page contains quotes taken from various discussion threads on LtU, which may help to convey something of the spirit of LtU, and why we care so much about maintaining a high quality of discussion here.
TestimonialsThe following is a wonderful list of quotes from the thread Happy Birthday, dear Lambda, on the occasion of LtU's fifth birthday on July 27, 2005. Thanks to everyone who took the time to post these messages, which remind us of why it's worth expending time and effort to keep LtU running smoothly!
I guess this thread is probably long enough already... But I just wanted to say that I, like so many others, consider LtU one of my very favorite web sites and discussion groups.— Matt Hellige
I'd just like to second Matt's comments. I have yet to come across an online community similar to LtU's in any other academic discipline that I've spent time looking into. The closest I've seen is a few discipline specific mailing lists - but even those either have a very poor signal-to-noise ratio compared to LtU, or they have devolved into being just a series of calls-for-papers.— Allan McInnes
I found LtU in its first days and got seriously impressed with the quality of the discussions. At the time almost everything went over my head, but I kept reading.— Andrei Formiga
I have to say this has become one of the sites I make it a point to visit. Everytime I visit I always learn something new.— toshiblue
5 years ago my son had just been born, and I'd started as a temp doing clerical work in a bank (before that I was a full-time student, trying and failing to complete a PhD in Eng Lit).— Dominic Fox
The following is a collection of quotes from various LtU threads, on the subject of the quality and spirit of discussion at LtU. Many of these comments were used in the development of our Site Policies.
LtU has large and vibrant community, with diverse interests and skills. The main thing uniting us is our interest in programming languages. If your interests are sincere, you belong here. As you become part of the community, you naturally have a larger impact on the topics under discussion... Sincerity is key.— Ehud Lamm, LtU Etiquette
The intent of the forum owners (both the admin and those of us who feel like defacto owners) is not to create a debating forum for advocacy, posturing, attacks, vendettas or advertising.— Chris Rathman, LtU Style & Focus
Note that from the perspective of LtU the expressiveness of the language constructs is the main thing, implementing them as efficiently as possible comes second: efficient implementation should be possible, but might still not exist in the marketplace.— Ehud Lamm, Ruby vs. Python
LtU has many readers and quite a few contributors. Each has his own experience, and tastes. Some love Haskell, some prefer Scheme. Some work with C, others with Java and yet others with C++. Naturally the list goes on.— Ehud Lamm, Why do they program in C++?
[...] Postings seem more collegial and when posted with less anonymity. [...] Most of us here post with our real, full names as a sign that we are prepared to stand behind our opinions.— Marc Hamann, Why do they program in C++?
[Raising objections] in a collegial manner tends to have better effects both on the discourse and on the interlocuters.— Marc Hamman, Why do they program in C++?
LtU is for high quality information and discussion of programming language design and research. Use academic or professional standards of civility, clarity, and commitment to learning. There are people here who know much more than you do. You are welcome, and welcome to contribute, but please observe our purpose and the social context. This is not a loud hand-waving hallway discussion at an ACM conference. This is certainly not a "everyone has something worth saying" user group. A comment rated 5 on Slashdot may or may not be appropriate here. Few comp.lang.misc threads are. Picture yourself as standing in a quiet room with 50 people. There is a high-power core, including people who have created major languages. Most of everyone's time is spent listening. When someone clears their throat and offers up a comment or question, it is clear time and effort went into the thought and its clear expression. Thoughts are regularly set aside for days to gel. The signal to noise ratio is very high. This is our objective. Please exercise discretion in your decisions on when, whether, and how you post. With the explosive growth in LtU guests, it requires everyones' efforts to maintain quality and clip excursions. Thank you, and welcome.— Mitchell N Charity, LtU: blog not forum!
LtU depends heavily on links to papers or articles. It is much easier to evaluate and respond to someone's position given a link to a carefully thought-out description of that position.— Anton van Straaten, Ruby vs. Python
Thinking that you're going to design a good language ex nihilo is a shocking conceit, a hubris of Greek mythic proportions.— Paul Snively, Why only 'minimal' languages
I'm sure many, many LtU readers have, or have had, similar feelings... about the various shortcomings of programming languages. I think we can take it as a given that we all understand and perhaps empathize with those kind of feelings. However, it's one thing to recognize that situation, and quite another to claim that you've found the problem, or see a way to a solution. If you're going to make such a claim, then it should meet a higher standard than usual, in terms of explaining the thesis clearly, and as concretely as possible, and demonstrating a good understanding of the existing PL landscape. Otherwise, as Chris said, all you have is "a discussion about nothing in particular", at best.— Anton van Straaten, Why only 'minimal' languages
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