CMUCL and LispOS

Vassili Bykov
Tue, 29 Apr 1997 14:02:46 -0400

> From: Peter.VanEynde <>
> I see people running around proclaiming that salvation will come from
> new VM for Lisp. Imagine that we work 2 years on CL (or EuLisp) on
> VM. Then we would be at the same place at now (maybe worse off): we
> have a working Lisp on all major systems. So what? The key to success
> isn't perfection but infiltration. I see CMUCL as the basis for a
> on the foundation of Linux, _making_ _it_ _easy_ to use old software.

I think Peter is making an excellent point here.  I may even throw in
some pessimism: look at the zoo of all the peripheral stuff out there
and think if it is feasible (cool as it sounds) to put an all-new
all-Lisp OS + window system straight on the raw hardware on at least
two platforms (x86 and PPC) and support it for all the new devices that
keep popping up? Linux and XFree86 crowd are doing just that, why not
use that effort?  And that's a heck of a lot of effort--just look at
EIDE stuff as an example and all the idiosyncrasies of individual
chipsets (secondary interface problems of CMD640, for one).  The
question is not even whether this is doable, the question is whether
all this effort can go into doing something not yet done.

A while ago I used to have a Windoze system with Smalltalk/V set up as
Progman replacement.  For all I cared, that was pretty much a Smalltalk
machine.  Something along these lines, of course with a deeper
penetration into the base system could be a reasonable evolutionary way
to go.