Slow down!!

Frank Brickle
Sun, 27 Apr 1997 14:41:28 -0400 (EDT)

>  I think everyone is in too big a hurry here...


>...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?...
>...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...

All good points.

The advantage I see in such as system is pretty simple.
The idea is to provide an environment without a firm
barrier between "system" functions and "applications."
This BTW -- at the risk of bringing up a touchy
subject -- lies near the heart of the desire for
extension languages, probably. It seems important to me
because it's an idea that arises in two disjoint areas
of my activities (reflecting the double life that so many
of us lead nowadays).

The first area is musical applications. I've been
doing "computer music" in one form or another since
1970; in the mid 80's I finally threw in the towel
and started using other people's programs, in particular 
high-end Mac sequencers. Much as one must admire the
sophistication and polish of these programs, it's
nevertheless endlessly frustrating to need to rely on
vendors to provide features that one might easily
program oneself, given the right tools.

The other area is system and comms security. Not too
long from now -- maybe 5 years, maybe a decade, who knows? --
there is going to be a routine and common demand for
protection of operations and data at every level, all
the time. Everybody knows that there's been a proliferation
of excellent technology for these purposes in the last
few years. But there's been remarkably little development
in the area of *integration* of the technology.
For example, there are some pretty clever hacks to make
PGP easily available to e-mail users. But they're still
hacks, and really tiresome over the long term.

I suspect that an operating environment that offers clean and
efficient access to security measures at any level,
from the system on up to user customization, is going
to look pretty appealing.

Sorry to go on for so long.