The feel of a LispM/List of running machines
Wed, 30 Apr 1997 12:19:27 +0200 (MET DST)
Martin Cracaeur proposed that former LispM users (why only they?)
summarize what they want a LispOS to do or not,
in the light of their experience.
I think this is very important.
The reason for the demise of most mailing-list based OS projects
has been the lack of definite goals.
Linux and *BSD in this respect were much simpler projects:
they already had a model to copy, legacy source code to support,
and even a standard (POSIX) to be conformant to.
LispOS has no comprehensive model to copy, little legacy source code,
no standard. We must be careful to wander in random directions,
Surely, if we have some real running code,
that's a strong basis that keep the project concrete;
but the VSTa experience shows that this ain't enough:
it's fine to run, but if you have no goal, it doesn't bring you far.
Of course, I think LispOS has much more definite goals than VSTa,
but the general blurr around the project goals could lead to the
same kind of half-death of the project.
So I think that in parallel with our coding experiment,
we should be developing some kind of standards document
(in HTML, TeXinfo, DSSSL, or whatever),
that'd would describe our goals as well as document our current code.
I'm (unhappily) no former LispM user, but I've already compiled
a huge list of requirements for a real LispOS
-- see the Tunes project pages:
[About scanning and OCRing LispM documentation]
I'd love to see that!
Perhaps more simply could we ask people at Symbolics
to publish their docs electronically?
I don't know if they'd do it, but why not try, at least?
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