August 08, 2003
A to the L to the New
The Association of Lisp Users has a brand new web site. Thank god. (Compare to the old site, though maybe I'm just a sucker for their new color scheme...)
Of note: The ALU membership drive, the ALU CLiki, “Powered by AllegroServe
and Allegro WebActions.”
Posted by jjwiseman at August 08, 2003 08:57 AM
Is it just me, or doesn't $100 membership to the ALU strike anyone else as a bit steep. Especially since what you get is....a mailing list. I would almost pay people NOT to put me on a mailing list these days! Seriously, if all they're going to offer is the satisfaction of supporting ALU, they ought to offer memberships at a much lower price.
For only $50 per list I'll promise not to put you on the ten lists I have here (payable annually) :-)
The only way the fee makes sense, as far as I can see, is if you think of it as an advance against your ILC2003 conference registration fee. Obviously, the more money they have before the event starts, the more flexible they can afford to be and the better an event they can make it.
On that basis, and if I were going to ILC2003, I'd join. Otherwise, well, nobody ever asked me to pay to join the Association of Linux Users ...
like: that both EmacsWiki and CLiki are linked in more or less prominent places.
don't like: that you have to go through several levels of pages to get to a list of lisp toolsets (which also tells a new user what lisp could be good for)
is the TOC of http://lisp.org/alu/res-lisp-tools.clp inspired by the cliki index page, perchance? I really think that cliki should be mentioned on that page...
other than that, nice layout. much more usable than the old version.
Disclosure: I am a member ot the ALU web commitee.
Although a number of services for ALU members are in the planning or implementation stage, I'm afraid the main reason I can personally offer for donating money to the ALU by joining as a mamber is trust.
If you trust the people who sit on the board (check the ALU Board page at the site), you know that they will do their best to spend the money for the benefit of Lisp. One such expense is organizing conferences, like the successful ILC 2002.
These events can attract new users, motivate companies to use the language and, indirectly, increase the Lisp market and the need for Lisp programmers. Although other activities such as updating the web site have been "dormant" for a lot of time, the ALU has been organizing such events for over a decade. And the site redesign is a sign that things are changing, hopefully for the best.
Although I am not going to attend neither ILC 2003, nor possibly the next few conferences, I have donated part of my time over the past few months to the web committee, and more recently the membership fee, mainly as a long time investment.
Needless tot say, your mileage might and do vary. But if you have strong feelings -- or just feelings -- about the ALU membership fees, do provide your feedback (see the Contact the ALU page).
The ALU can just decide to keep accounting open to members. More than anything else, it sounds like an educational experience for members, to see firsthand how much money is required. It also obliterates the trust problem.