Advantages of a Lisp VM versus a Lisp OS

Michael Korns
Fri, 25 Apr 1997 21:49:51 -0700

To all,

I am Vice Pres Engineering of a company which produces a commercial agent
oriented database currently sold for large enterprise client server data
mining projects. The database modeling language (in AgentBase) is an agent
oriented flavor of Lisp. The harsh reality is that my firm would not be
interested in participating in a Lisp OS project, but we would be very
interested in participating in a Lisp VM standard. 

Although my views are harsh, I believe many other VC's and Corporations
subscribe to these same harsh views. Understanding WHY may be of importance
to the LispOS community in promoting its goals. I will let you be the

1)	The Java VM has achieved enormous Venture Capital and Corporate support
because of its enormous COMMERCIAL potential.

2)	Similarly the LispOS community must create a FRANCHISE whose COMMERCIAL
potential is compelling and obvious. Such a franchise would be met with
near instantaneous Venture Capital and Corporate support.

3)	Any franchisor decision to omit, hinder, or place at a disadvantage,
Scheme, Common Lisp, Smalltalk, Windows, Unix, Linux, FluxOS, etc, causes
immediate user conflict and drastically reduces the LispOS potential

4)	A successful Lisp VM standard would be simple to understand, easy to
implement, efficient to translate to native binary, and with a very low
cost of entry for would-be franchisees. It would carry the stamp of
approval of Scheme users, Common Lisp users, Smalltalk users, and contain
Java support as a subset. Would-be franchisees would be able to enter the
LispOS marketplace at a very low cost, specialize in a particular
expertise, and through plug and play components, benefit commercially from
each other's work.

5)	Some examples: My firm would immediately convert its AgentBase VM to the
LispOS VM standard and offer a commercial persistent storage component.
Other franchisees might specialize in binding the VM to various chips and
OS's including automatic VM to native translators. Other franchisees might
specialize in providing Common Lisp to VM compilers, Scheme to VM
compilers, Smalltalk to VM compilers, Java to VM compilers, etc. Other
franchisees would specialize in VM to popular web browser bindings,
graphics package bindings, etc. Very quickly such a LispOS VM standard
would become the "Lingua Franca" of the Web displacing the more primitive
Java VM.

I believe that now is the time for the LispOS community to act decisively,
before the more primitive Java market place becomes firmly entrenched.
You be the judges and the jury.		

Michael F. Korns
214 Shorebreaker
Laguna Niguel, California 92677
(714) 443-4847