Fw: The LispOS Project: a position paper, part 2

William A. Barnett-Lewis wlewis@mailbag.com
Tue, 03 Jun 1997 09:24:55 -0500

ET wrote:
> > From: Scott L. Burson <gyro@zeta-soft.com>
> > I do understand the attraction of having "Lisp down to the metal" (a goal
> the
> > Lisp Machines never quite reached, by the way, because of their use of
> > microcode).  But it's a massive amount of work to do well...
> The LMI K-machine -- designed, built, debugged, but never marketed --
> was Lisp down to the metal.  There was *no* microcode, and all but
> about 64 lines of critical interrupt code (that handled the pipeline
> crawlout) was written in Lisp.  The effort was in fact large, on the order
> of 10 man years and 1 million dollars from initial concept to working
> hardware.
> (Pretty cheap, actually, but more than I have in my pocket today.)
>                                 ~jrm

You've mentioned your work on the K-machine a few times now, esecially
in the context of lisp all the way down. Is there any reference to this
work that is available? Could you, perhaps, put together a short paper
explaining the basis hackery involved? Could you also explain the
differences between LMI's approaches and those of the other companies as
well? I'm most familer with Xerox D-Machines, sort of with Cons/Cadr &
Symbolics, but know virtualy nothing about the LMI machines. 



PS the list seems to be working wrt you again. Excellent!