LispOS: LispEnv or Tunes?

Bill House
Tue, 29 Apr 1997 23:58:46 -0700

Mike McDonald wrote:
>   But "they" already have this turf staked out! No one is going to
> modify their browser to include a Lisp VM when they already have a
> Java VM. Even if you make a free plug-in available for the LVM, do you
> really think anyone is going to download the monster? I don't!
Actually, in the M$ world, nobody has to modify their browser to do this. The
ActiveX Scripting Engine API is built right into MSIE. Also, if the LVM is
implemented as an ActiveX component for the WinTel platform, the users can
choose to DL it when they hit the site that serves it (say a silkOS web
server).  I realize that people have this notion that such a beast has to be
large, but our AgentBase VM is only 1.3 MB, and it includes an entire object
repository engine, along with the compiler, etc. 1.3MB would not be considered
all that big a deal for these users -- they're kinda used to it. <g>

BTW, MSIE can have any number of VM's loaded, and I'm pretty sure you can do
the same with Netscape. MS having this feature alone is probably enough to
drive Netscape to do it, if they don't already.  Just watch -- VM's are going
to multiply like rabbits.

The hook for Lisp is functionality. If we were to deploy our stock market app,
for example, people would gladly DL a meg of 2 of code (after all, it's beaten
95% of human fund managers for 3 years running). Anyway, don't think that Java
is going to forever own the VM-delivered language market. MS and IBM are
already committed to seeing that Java becomes "just-another-language" in the
browser arena. Lisp can join VB, Java, Smalltalk, etc., but it needs some
momentum (and I think we can provide a small bit).

In conjunction with a Lisp Web server, a browser-able VM would be a powerful

	Follow-ups to

Bill House
The views expressed are mine alone,
unless you agree with me.