Reddit broke - should have remained on Lisp?

Tayssir John Gabbour tayss_temp2 at
Fri Jun 30 12:43:53 CEST 2006

Kay Schluehr wrote:
> Tayssir John Gabbour wrote:
> > Supposedly, the Reddit team had a bit of remorse (though of course, we
> > should take the following writeup with a grain of salt; maybe there are
> > more in-depth sources online):
> > "If we could do it all over again, we'd still be using Lisp. Probably."
> > "Reddit: Stick with Lisp. If you want it done right, do it yourself-
> > hosting- Avoid"
> >
> Please, since this is a Python+Lisp cross-thread and you seem to have
> background info: can you explain why Lisp hackers have turned
> themselves into Python newbies for Reddit impl. and finally complain
> about the language switch? What was cause for their decision to use
> Python in the first place?

Hi Kay,

The claim was that their Lisp implementation, CMUCL, had threading
problems which regularly crashed their site.

Also, they had concerns about the user community's size (at least the
one surrounding the free Common Lisp implementations).

All right, serious criticism of Lisp is a joy to read, as we're a
technical audience... but how serious was this criticism? Apparently
the original big announcement of their switch was deleted from the blog
(at least the links are dead and I can't find it in a few secs of
googling), but I remember they promised to write up their experiences
with Lisp to help others if enough people asked. I was among those who
encouraged them to do this, but I haven't heard a word more about this

This would've made their claims easier to verify. As it stands, I don't
know if they just had weird glitches with shoddy hardware from their
service provider, or whether they seriously reached out to the
community so it could help them. And they didn't even offer newbies the
benefit of a helpful, critical writeup. (If it is indeed true they
didn't follow up on the writeup.)

For that matter, a nasty side-effect is it prompts some to heavily
criticize Python in the same loose manner, out of a defensive feeling.


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