Let's hack some code

Mike McDonald mikemac@titian.engr.sgi.com
Mon, 28 Apr 1997 14:37:55 -0700

>To: Mike McDonald <mikemac>
>Subject: Let's hack some code
>Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 17:10:47 -0400
>From: Richard Coleman <coleman@math.gatech.edu>
>>   Well, I guess I'm in the third camp that wants a native PC based
>> system that's tailored to run LISP, not Smalltalk, not ML, not JAVA.
>> If someone wants to write emulators for those things in Lisp, fine. I
>> believe that yet another universal VM is neither a relevant nor useful
>> goal. 
>Well, this was my original goal when I created the list... so now that
>we've heard all the discussions,let's talk specifics.
>How about
>on top of the new
>Flux toolkit (due in May).
>Let's strap that baby on... and start hacking...  I say we could
>have a running system in 6 months...
>Richard Coleman

  Both CMU-CL and CLISP are missing support for threads, which a
"LispOS" needs. If I were to start such an undertaking, I'd start with
ACL and Linux. Have the apps guys (and gals!) start with that. Have
the OS guys look into what support ACL requires from Linux. Strip
everything else out of Linux, except maybe the networking stack, and
boot ACL as the only unix process on the box. Next, add modifications
to linux that support moving more of the system level activities into
lisp and then do that (ie device drivers, interrupt handlers, network
stacks, ...) At some point, you may run into limitations of ACL,
whether lack of source code or the Franz license. At that point, then
look into other alternatives, whether modifying an existing CL or
writing one from scratch. At that point, you'll know more about what
your requirements are and have something to show people to justify the

  Oh, before the some apps people could begin, they'd have to design
and build a windowing system. And probably a command loop, although
you could start with the existing ACL toplevel until you got farther
down the road with the windowing system.

  Mike McDonald