LispOS == OpenStep?

Andrew Joseph Gildfind
Thu, 1 May 1997 19:18:46 +1000 (EST)


I've been lurking on this list for a while. I'm a postgrad student
doing work in computer animation - with shades of genetic programming.
Although I've never really programmed in Lisp I have (by necessity)
done a lot of programming in C++ and thus have an interest in Lisp
in as much as it solves most of my complaints with C++. Also a lot of early
work in computer graphics (eg. Craig Reynolds - ASAS and flocking)
and current work in genetic programming (Koza etc.) has very strong
lisp influence (often a Symbolics influence). 

Anyhow there has been a huge amount of discussion here about what people
are trying to do. My main comment is that a good model for LispOS, Silk
(I don't like that name - sorry :-) or whatever would be NeXT OpenStep.
The three main strands of development that people are proposing here would 
presumably match OpenStep in the following ways:

Linux/*BSD/CMUCL/X11:	OpenStep for Solaris, OpenStep for NT
Kernel/ground-up..:	OpenStep for Mach
Lisp-wwweborama:	WebObjects

Perhaps if the development project was viewed more like a lisp copy
of OpenStep (which is cool in its own ways) then it would provide
more focus and an example of where to draw the boundaries between
the custom environment and the substrate.

The only other thing that I would say is that what I would say is the
advantage of things like tcl is that they allow a programmatic
interface to be easily attached to existing applications. In essence
defining a *script-level API*. I think that at least for an approach
that aims for some integration with an existing OS (which I think would 
be most useful) these extra things would be very worthwhile:

 - a library that can be linked into C/C++ programs which provides a 
   commandline lisp interface - ala tcl.
 - a utility like expect for tcl which does the same thing for lisp
 - *perhaps* an equivalent tool to Tk (although I'm not sure Tk is that great)
 - and of course a shell to wrap it all up.

Anyhow, those are my thoughts - I'm going back to lurking...

Andrew Gildfind (