we have more than enough energy

Tim Pierce twpierce@mail.bsd.uchicago.edu
Thu, 1 May 1997 03:35:55 -0500 (CDT)

There is so much enthusiasm for this project that I have to
believe we have more than enough labor to work actively on several
branches in parallel.  In fact, I would feel nervous about jumping
into an OS team with more than a few people (ten?).  If the team
is not tightly focused on a clear goal, the project will
flounder.  It's very difficult to achieve that level of clarity in
a large group, as we've seen here in just the last few days.

So I propose that we start coordinating into more carefully-
organized groups, immediately.  We have already divided into a
virtual machine group and an operating systems group; it would
probably be a good idea to divide as per Richard's suggestions
into top and bottom halves of an operating system group.  The top
half adds Lisp functionality to Unix, building on top of a Unix
system and combining it with the existing Unix culture(s).  The
bottom half works on replacing Unix with Lisp objects, to
integrated it more seamlessly with the Lisp user space.  An ideal
plan would permit both camps to work seperately but in concert,
possibly permitting integration of the two halves at some future
date.  That would encourage building a true Lisp system from the
low level, without sacrificing a migration path for Unix hackers
to move to Lisp.

Richard's proposal for a minimal Linux system with CMU CL sounds
like a good start to me.  Will this permit us to proceed along
compatible development paths?  I surely hope so; if someone has an
alternate suggestion, it would be good to hear, but fast.  I am
eager to start hacking.