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Re: [Chicken-meisters] Re: Fw: Chicken and marketing

From: Felix
Subject: Re: [Chicken-meisters] Re: Fw: Chicken and marketing
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2011 16:34:49 +0100 (CET)

> Hi Felix,

Ola, Mario!

> I see.  But so are Python, Ruby, C, Java, Perl, Go and several others.

One could say these names are boring enough to be neutral, but of
course you're right.

> I was assuming "marketing" == "making it more popular". :-) I'm not a
> marketing expert either, so I may be wrong here too.

I understood the same, but it has the wrong background. "marketing"
for me means trying to sell something, and advertising it. We just
work to improve the product and wait for people to find it (with 
the exception of a remark on some IRC channel or mailing list). And
that's fine.

> I attribute the popularity problem to several reasons, but one of the
> strongest is that it is a Lisp.  No matter how good a Lisp
> implementation is, it is always a Lisp, so it is unpopular and subject
> to trolling.

That is certainly true, but what I think is that chicken is less
popular among the Lisps as it should.

> Yes, that's a fact.  In 2011 we had 30-40 users hanging on #chicken.
> Nowadays we have 40-50 (+ vandusen).  We have some new folks on the
> mailing list too. I think the number of Chicken users is growing -- and
> I think the growth is not linear in time!

Wow. Perhaps things aren't as bad as I think?

> Are you also considering that none of Scheme implementations is popular?

In the space of programming languages in general? Yes.

> Chicken is not used in universities.  It is only used by hackers who
> have no prejudice against Lisp.

Actually, chicken is used in at least one university course in

> Another thing to consider is: schemers are extremely picky by nature.
> So that even Scheme implementations are unpopular among schemers.

Oh, don't get me going about that. I could rant for days about it.

> I don't know. I'm not sure another name would make any difference...
> All the other popular programming languages/implementations are not
> popular because of their names, but because they have an initial special
> niche:
> * Perl: a better alternative to shell scripting
> * Python: a cleaner Perl
> * PHP: a better alternative to CGI
> * Ruby: Rails
> * Clojure: JVM
> * Java: Enterprise, portability, C++ users

There also is a lot of hype involved.

> Chicken is... an excellent Scheme implementation. But for what?
> Teaching?  Implementing itself? It's better for everything, so is Lisp,
> but nobody sees that.
> I think we are slowly attracting some good new developers and I really
> think we are getting more and more respectful as a project.  We indeed
> could advertise Chicken more and we seriously need USERS (not only
> developers) using APPLICATIONS developed in Chicken.

Right. As I said above, advertising it is not necessary, and it wastes
too much time and is no fun. Making it attractive is the important
thing. I find "Chicken" funny, but not particular attractive. On the
other hand, since most (all?) people on this list consider the name
suitable, it is settled anyway. And that's fine.


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