[Openmcl-devel] prompt-for-file (embarrassing question)

Laughing Water lw at mt.net
Thu Mar 30 12:18:00 PDT 2017

At this point not only has my question been promptly answered but in light of the ensuing discussion, I feel elevated rather than humiliated. In fact, I’m excited.

There’s evidently a gap between CCL being a powerful tool and it being an accessible tool. Even better, it would be great for it to be magical and life-changing, as Dimitri Simos said. Or insanely great.

The genius of Steve Jobs was in turning high technology into consumer products through elegant design. The software designer’s essential challenge is managing complexity. And that’s what we’re talking about in regard to an IDE, tutorials, documentation or whatever else it takes to empower the CCL user.

I’ve spent very little time with CCL (and maybe I should shut up until I really read the documentation), but what I see is not a learning curve, if a curve implies continuity. What I see looks like a Chinese landscape of ragged peaks and sparse trees blocked by rivers with an occasional sage to point into the mist. There’s no obvious path and many potential sidetracks into trunk and SLIME and Hemlock and Cocoa and shell scripts and configurations.

Who will be the gatekeeper who refuses to allow Lao Tzu to pass without putting his wisdom into simple words? (Sorry to lapse into metaphor, but I was a humanities major at MIT.)

CCL has a very high-quality community (if unfortunately small), and I’m sure many get the point. Are there feasible ways to make it more accessible?

Laughing Water

> On Mar 29, 2017, at 7:05 PM, Andrew Shalit <alms at clozure.com> wrote:
> choose-file-dialog
> choose-new-file-dialog
> choose-directory-dialog
> I always have trouble remembering their names, too.
>> On Mar 29, 2017, at 8:34 PM, Laughing Water <lw at mt.net> wrote:
>> I’m embarrassed to ask, but I have failed to figure out how to successfully execute PROMPT-FOR-FILE. This is on Mac OS X 10.11.6 and using a freshly-downloaded CCL 1.11-store-r16714 from the App Store.
>> ? (in-package :hi)
>> #<Package "HI">
>> ? (prompt-for-file)
>>> Error: There is no applicable method for the generic function:
>>>      when called with arguments:
>>>        (NIL)
>>> While executing: #<CCL::STANDARD-KERNEL-METHOD NO-APPLICABLE-METHOD (T)>, in process Listener(4).
>> I first laid my hands on MCL in 1990, have used LispWorks for over 10 years and wanted to try running some of my code in CCL. I was hoping for some instant gratification with a small piece of programming, but no success after an hour or more poring through documentation.
>> Laughing Water
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