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I appreciate your peacemaking efforts, Hisham. Some of them were slightly misplaced, but the effort is admirable. <warm smile>

I have no problem with brevity. I rarely engage in it myself, mind you, but I'm fine with a clear, short answer. When they're articulate, they make good quotes. The original responder's message, however, was not terse; it was "go away" unhelpful.

But I do get a sincere chuckle regarding being told the basics of netiquette. I've been involved in online communities since 1984, and running them since 1990. I spent several years as a programmer (optimizing compilers, among other things) so I am no stranger to developer-grunts, particularly when they think a clueless newbie has wandered into their midst.

It's fine to tell a new-to-the-group programmer, "Hey, RTFM before you ask questions that can be easily answered by the documentation." It's another thing to tell a journalist -- who is here, mind you, to give more visibility to your favored language -- "I'm too busy to tell you what *I* think of this, and why it matters... go crib off the FAQ." If I did the latter, some bozo would hurry to criticize me for not actually talking to the members of the community. And they would be right in doing so. (In case you wondered: copying websites is called plagarism, and taking comments from an e-mail answering a question is called interviewing.)


On Oct 9, 2008, at 7:45 PM, Hisham wrote:

On Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 10:51 PM, Esther Schindler <> wrote:

Read carefully. I AM A WRITER. Copying something off of someone else's
website is not writing.

The misunderstanding was unfortunate, but it was understandable. In
open source communities, people tend to value reuse of openly
available resources, so it was only natural to them to point you to
something that appeared to fulfill your needs; evidently, this
conflicts with your journalistic need for original material. The other
apparent source of confusion, and a much less obvious issue, is a
certain taste for terseness which exists here -- while in other open
source communities a response containing a single line of text and a
link may have sounded rude, in the Lua list it is considered natural.
It appears to have originated from the authors of Lua (as a matter of
fact, Luiz Henrique, who was the first to reply to you, is one of
them), and it curiously matches the spirit of the programming language
itself, but whatever its origins, I feel it has permeated the
community and is one of those unwritten traits of a social group that
you just "get" once you hang around for a while.

I'm glad that other people, like Ralph and Matthew, understood this. Because the conclusion I would draw from your response is that the Lua community has no passion, no personal interest in sharing their own reasons to use the

Again, it's unfortunate sorry your initial experience with the Lua
list has been bumpy, but one recurrent praise I read about it is that
it is a very friendly community, and my personal experience tends to
corroborate that. It definitely does not lack passion, and the number
of testimonials in that quotes page shows that people often do share
their reasons for liking and using Lua.

As for your original question,

Imagine that you're trying to convince someone's boss to let you use it. What would you say?

The arguments I used last time I was in this position were: "fast,
small, mature, integrates with other languages well". Note that all of
these are objective points, at least comparatively speaking (ie, to
the extent that all of these can be backed by hard numbers or feature
lists when comparing it to other languages). Needless to say, they
were convinced and Lua is in use in the project.

-- Hisham