The feel of a LispM/List of running machines

cwg@DeepEddy.Com cwg@DeepEddy.Com
Thu, 01 May 1997 20:47:11 -0500

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As I make the below comments, please keep in mind that I think compatibility 
and reuse of working pieces of Unix is a necessity for this project.

> Well there's two issues here. Firstly that it rebooted. Why? Either it
> was bad hardware, or it was a bug. Neither of which Lisp is going to
> be free of. Secondly it cleared a wrong i-node. Keeping file system
> integrity after a crash is a major difficultly that Lisp isn't going
> to suddenly solve. The state of the art seems to be log structured
> file systems which do run on UNIX.

The point that you're missing is that it's easier to write bug-free code in 
Lisp than it is in C.

> >Yeah, all except robustness.  And if it were that easy to add trivial
> >features to unix's file system, then tell me WHY does unix still have no
> >transparent network file sharing?  
> Heard of NFS?

The Nightmare File System.  There is so much wrong with NFS that I can't se 
when you try to use it as an example.

> >WHY does unix still have no version
> >numbers?  
> Emacs has them, and emacs runs on Unix.

Emacs fakes version numbers on top of the Unix file system and they're limited 
and annoying.

> >WHY does unix -still- use one-way-ticket-to-hell file
> >deletion?  Why why why?
> Because the UNIX file system is very low level. Think of UFS being to
> file systems what Micro kernels are to OSes. It is a low level
> facility on which you can build something better.

Except that it's such a poor low level facility that you can't easily build 
something better on top of it.   We need to start by faking what we need on 
top of Unix file systems with the hope that eventually someone (on this list?) 
will write a decent file system that we can use.

> >But I'm going along with this write-lispos-on-top-of-linux-first idea
> >because as Fare Rideau (I think?) recently said, even the kludgiest lisp
> >system is better than a C system.  At least it will give us something
> >that mostly insulates us, relatively quick.  I just don't want us to
> >lose sight of the eventual goal of 100% lisp.

I agree.  It's likely that we'll never reach that goal, but it has to be 
remembered and all design decisions have to be done such that they make this 
more likely to happen rather than less likely.


Chris Garrigues                    O-              cwg@DeepEddy.Com
  Deep Eddy Internet Consulting                     +1 512 432 4046
  609 Deep Eddy Avenue
  Austin, TX  78703-4513              http://www.DeepEddy.Com/~cwg/

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