Running Unix programs under LispOS

Bill House
Fri, 2 May 1997 07:43:21 -0700

Chris Bitmead wrote:
>What will change the world is something which gives a radical
>improvment in productivity, but inter-operates with what is there
>now. That is why Windows 3.0 took the world by storm. It brought
>something radically new, yet it worked with DOS. Very soon DOS will be
>gone and we'll still have Windows. (BTW Windows 3.0 did not take the
>world by storm because of performance or stability)
>Change the world first, THEN force everybody to chuck out the old OS.
I think you've got it right. LispOS needs to be useful to people working in
existing environments. As an application server, we've got the field data to
prove that Lisp systems can be successful, so I think KEM's silkServer approach
has lots of merit.  

However, few installations are going to dedicate a machine to something that
requires rebooting (or reinstallation) to do anything else. So, KEM's approach,
running under WinNT, would be the easiest to sell. A UNIX flavor would be
preferable to some shops, but non-UNIX shops would be inclined to nix it, just
on the basis of not being NT.

To get around this Catch-22, you might be able to take the same approach that
MS did when they were fighting to infiltrate the heavily-Netware corporate NOS
market. They wrote a Netware services emulator and gave it away with NT. Now,
people are using NT as a cheaper, more functional substitute for additional
servers on their Netware LANs. Do the same with LispOS -- support all the
external connectivity options you can: CORBA, DCOM, Netware FS, NetBios,
TCP/IP, etc.  If LispOS is obsessed with connectivity, then how it's built
won't matter. If I can browse the "file" system from Win95, LispOS wins.

Bill House
The views expressed are mine alone,
unless you agree with me.