Re: Comments, questions, gripes, or rants about the ALU?

"Tayssir John Gabbour" <tayss_temp2@xxxxxxxxx> writes:

> Peter Seibel wrote:
>> Since I'm new to it and thus a) am full of energy and interest and b)
>> have essentially no investment in the history of the ALU and the way
>> things have been done in the past, I'd be quite interested to hear
>> from folks who have, as I say in the subject, comments, questions,
>> gripes, or rants about the ALU. If you are a Lisp users, what do you
>> think the ALU should be spending it's energy and resources on? If you
>> are a member, why did you join? and if you are not, what might entice
>> you to sign up? Can you identify any benefits that you derive from the
>> existence of the ALU? Are there other organizations (informal or
>> formal) that you think are doing a good job to promote the use of
>> Lisp or otherwise make the world a better place for Lispers?
>> No guaranteees that I'll have any immediate answers to any questions
>> folks may pose or that anything will necessarily change in the short
>> term (or even the long term) as a result of your comments but I'd love
>> to hear whatever you have to say. Thanks.
> Just keep people informed, and I'm sure they'll be grateful.

Well that, I think I can do. FWIW, in the past couple days, since I've
been elected nothing has happened that I know of. ;-)

> Presumably it's hard to answer your question when people don't know
> what the ALU's resources are.

Well, the resources are limited--as Rusty (the treasurer) explained it
at the ALU meeting tacked onto the end of the ILC, we have something
like $30-40k in the bank at the moment. But much of that will be
needed to pay for the *next* ILC (assumnig, as is quite likely, that
one of the main activities of the ALU continues to be putting on the

That said, I'd be interested in hearing about things folks would like
the ALU to do, somewhat without regard to current resources. (No, you
can't have a pony.) Mostly because I think that might help us to
clarify what the true goal of the ALU should be. From there we can
start thinking about ways to either better bring the resources we do
have to bear on achiving that goal or on obtaining more resources. Or

> Another thing to know is the constraints on what the ALU is willing
> to do. So for example, it's probably in my interest for my
> membership money to build opensource capital; but with permanent
> commercial representation on the board, such plans may be overall
> non-starters. So such issues need to be clarified before I'd
> contribute money.

Well, I've now skimmed the by-laws and articles of incorporation, but
must admit I haven't read them carefully yet. But I don't think
there's *necessarily* any "permanent commercial representation on the
board". As far as I can tell, anyone who's a member of the ALU could
have come to the meeting the other day and nominated and then voted
for whomever they wanted to be on the board. And given the relatively
low number of folks who were actually there, if a crew of Lisp open
sourcers decided the ALU could do more if all folks with ties to Lisp
vendors were booted off the board it probably wouldn't be too
hard. And the by-laws also allow for voting by proxy, so you don't
even have to convince a bunch of people to go to a meeting--you just
have to get them to give you their proxies. (Of course, I suspect at
the moment a large percentage of the financial support of the ALU
comes from Franz so there might be consequences to kicking Duane
Rettig off the board.) It's also the case that the board operates by
majority vote and as far as I can tell only two of the eight members
of the current board represent "vendors" so it's not like the vendors
have a ton of control over the board, let alone over the membership at
large. FWIW, here are the names of the current board members:

Duane Rettig
Heow Eide-Goodman
JonL White
Kuroda Hisao
Nick Levine
Peter Lindahl
Peter Seibel
Roger Corman

I'd say if there's something that, if the ALU did it, would inspire
you to join up, you should let me/us know what it is. I can't speak
for the rest of the board, but I'm interested.


Peter Seibel * peter@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Gigamonkeys Consulting *
Practical Common Lisp *