some reasons the lisp machine is cool
Andrew J. Blumberg
Wed, 30 Apr 1997 23:46:45 -0500
1) the language and the operating system trust each other. thus, we can
page in and out objects, and there's less overhead since the OS can take
for granted compiler features. we want to push this as far as we can. for
ideas in this directions, olin shiver's (firstname.lastname@example.org) express
project is a great place to look.
2) the code is all there; if i want to know how the system does something,
i can find out and change it without taking the OS down. this is true for
a long ways down.
3) as a corollary, this means things like the editor and the mailer can be
hacked at will because the code is there. i don't like it something, no
problem; i can fix it.
4) the facilities for moving around in the code are phenomenal; rapid
online documentation, meta-dot to any system code, list callers facilities,
5) the editor knows it's being used to write code; so lots of cool features
for code manipulation are built in. and if i want others, i can write them.
6) the debugging tools are excellent and well integrated.
7) there is a fairly well-designed substrate for system management; patch
control is easy and well done.
8) the file system has versioning.
as i think of other reasons, i'll post them. . .