I always think it’s a bit dangerous when authors of a successful [anything] write their history.
Even with the best intentions, usually one leaves out the context. Imagine Steve Jobs writing about the history of Macintosh. I would be surprised if there were any mention of Xerox PARC, and yet obviously that’s essential to the history. There’s just no fundamental incentive to say - oh actually there were things like this - in fact, lots of other people doing similar things, I just got lucky. Because it’s really difficult to create something that is adopted, and inventors, creators, etc., feel that the most - so the last thing they want to do is talk about other people’s similar work or a more objective history of what happened.
I think: https://hopl4.sigplan.org/track/hopl-4-papers#History-of-HOPL (including the recent popular Clojure submission) are all dangerous this way. And I should say, Steve Jobs to his credit - agreed to have an independent biographer, who didn’t hold back, write about him. That’s the honest way to do it.
With Tailwind, Tachyons and others were niche but still popular at the same time. Not mentioning this is like talking about the history of Facebook without mentioning MySpace. Yes, Tailwind and Facebook did things different that ended up being successful - but it wasn’t in a vacuum. And it’s just dishonest I think to think otherwise.
Regarding Rich Hickey’s Clojure, what gets me is he personally “thanks” a bunch of people in the Acknowledgements but leaves out I’m sure scores of essential people. Who does that?