Slow down!!

Michael Korns
Sun, 27 Apr 1997 09:30:14 -0700


You make several good points.

What if there are not three camps? For instance, a core extended Web Lisp
VM, benefits all three groups ("let's build a better VM",  "I love
Genera/Xerox1186 camp", "let's build a better web server in lisp") equally
across the Web.  

We could build now on top of the Web Java VM, but realistically the Java VM
(without extensions) currently puts Smalltalk, Lisp, ML, etc. bindings at a

By the way, you forgot the FluxOS people and their needs (they seem pretty
smart and gung ho). You forgot the AgentBase people and their needs. You
forgot the Smalltalk people, the ML people. So there are not really three
camps. There are countless camps.

These countless camps can only be brought together on the Web. If we're not
talking Web enabled, we're not talking 21st century computing. Let's face
it. If we're not talking web enabled, we don't exit.

> From: Mike McDonald <>
> To:
> Subject: Slow down!!
> Date: Sunday, April 27, 1997 12:26 AM
>   I think everyone is in too big a hurry here. This discussion only
> started, what, four days ago? Already people are talking about "binding
> votes" and resource commitments. I think we need to come up with WHAT
> we want to accomplish, WHY we want to accomplish that, HOW we think we
> can succeed at that long before we start voting. As I see it, they are
> still three camps in this discussion, the "let's build a better VM"
> camp, the "I love Genera/Xerox1186 camp", and the "let's build a
> better web server in lisp" camp. Let's take then one at a time. (In no
> particular order.)
>   First the VM camp, why do you want to invent another VM? How will it
> be better than the existing ones? How are you going to beat the
> existing ones? What advantage does your VM have that the other VMs
> don't have that will make it the choice of the commercial world? (Do
> you really think the JAVA camp is going to take anything you do
> seriously? You're trying to play their game and they already have the
> press, the venture capital, and the "mind share" of the industry.)
>   Next, the LispM camp. What advantage will an integrated Lisp and OS
> bring to the commercial world? How will your tightly integrated LispM
> environment interoperate with the existing disjointed world? What has
> change in the "real world" to make a LispM viable today? Or what are
> you going to do different this time to win? (Cheap hardware isn't the
> answer to your prayers. The other guys have that too.)
>   Finally, the web server camp. What do you need a LispOS for inorder
> to make a better web server? What do the current OSes do that prevents
> you from building your better web server? How are you going to compete
> with Netscape, Microsoft, IBM, and every other Tom, Dick, and Harry
> that smell big bucks in the "Intranet" market?
>   Personally, I'd like to have a PC LispM because of sentimental
> reasons and it fits my personal needs. But I don't for one second
> believe there's any chance of it being a commercial success. Of the
> three, I think the better web server has the most chance os commercial
> success. But I don't see why that can't be accomplished on top of the
> existing OSes. (The more, the merrier!) If it's the distributed OS
> portion, I'd suggest you look into the Beowolf project. Otherwise, use
> what the OSes have to offer when it meets your needs and then bypass
> it when it doesn't, like most commercial database companies do.
>   Mike McDonald