LispOS directly on hardware or on Unix kernel?

Chris Bitmead uid(x22068)
Thu, 01 May 1997 10:56:23 +1000

>>Why all this talk of re-implementing Unix utilities in lisp and
>>translating C code into lisp code?
>Most of the "Unix" utilities are pretty useless, IMHO. I'd like
>to get rid of Unix as much as possible. It is basically
>a model of how one should not do it.

You might not like how they work, but what they do often happens to be
useful. Put a wrapper around them that you like and don't re-invent
the wheel. Take for example gzip, TeX, ghostview, Netscape, and ten
million other freely available Unix programs. How long is it going to
take for lisp people to re-implement all of them? Why do you even want
to try?

>>the apps I want. LispOS will be in a worse situation. Let's keep the
>>ability to run UNIX and X programs.
>I don't need that. If I want to run Unix, I can use one
>of our Slowlaris machines. 

Like 99% of the population I've only got one machine of my own, and I
don't want to have to reboot every 5 minutes to do real work.

>I would like a machine without
>the baggage of technology that was outdated ten or even
>twenty years ago. 

Neither do I, but back to reality for just a moment. There is hundreds
of gigabytes of free software out on the internet. I don't want to cut
myself off from all of it to use LispOS, unless there is a really
compelling reason. I havn't yet heard a compelling reason, why we
_need_ to cut ourselves off from it.

Most people these days are talking of micro kernels that will be able
to run Windows, Mac, OpenStep, Unix all at the one time. That is the
way of the future. An environment that can run any and every software
you can throw at it. A LispOS that can only run Lisp is burying itself
in the sand.

>mean, put a SmallTalk or a Lisp Machine
>side by side with a Unix-system. This is real tragic. Something
>most have been going wrong in a big way.

Yes, something's been going wrong, but don't nuke the current world
because you've got a grand vision of a better one. Build the better
one first.

>>And IF in 5 years time, LispOS is so successful that you don't need
>>UNIX compatibility any more, well then you can purge it out.
>Sigh, not earlier?

If you can re-implement every useful UNIX thing I've got now in the
next 6 months, then be my guest. Good luck!