LispOS directly on hardware or on Unix kernel?

Luca Pisati
Fri, 02 May 1997 15:53:15 -0700

Rainer Joswig wrote:
> At 10:33 Uhr +1000 2.5.1997, Chris Bitmead uid(x22068) wrote:
> >I think you missed the point. They are C programs implemented on an OS
> >which is either UNIX or mucher closer to UNIX than LispOS. I don't
> >think you're suggesting LispOS be built on top of MacOS are you? Well,
> >then if you want Netscape it will probably be the Linux or BSD version
> >thereof.
> I don't want Netscape.
> >Me too, but we can't get rid of tar completely because we need it to
> >import external stuff.
> Write a tape archiver in Lisp.

Did you ever took a look to the TAR software on Genera ?

I once had to fix a bug in it (Genera 8.1), and I was amazed on
how simple that code was.  Sometimes it looks to me like we think
that Unix tools are very complex because:

1. they are old
2. nobody knows how they are done (not me, at least)
3. they have very complicate user interface

> > And we're going to go down the track of giving
> >compatibility for these C/Unix/WhateverOS, then we probably need sh
> >and cp in order to build legacy applications.
> Get rid of sh and cp.
> >I agree, you are preaching to the converted. But as of now there is a
> >lot of stuff out there that just plain works,
> Yep, and most of it runs under Windows.
> >example that there exists a free Postscript viewer at all. I think the
> >chances of anyone re-writing this in Lisp are pretty much nil.
> Why not? Adobe seems to have a PostScript engine in Lisp, Genera has
> a simple one, ...
> >Well then you will have to make it run on Windows and Unix. I suspect
> >a lot of the people on this list are free software fans and will want
> >to see it running on Linux/BSD at a minimum.
> I'm a fan of productive software. I don't care about Linux/BSD a bit.
> >By the standards of difficulty in OS development, building an OS on a
> >micro kernel is extremely easy. Apple DID build an OS on a
> >micro-kernel. It's called MkLinux and it took them a matter of months
> >to build.
> Yep, one OS - but not a combination of more than one OS and
> also a stupid OS.
> >>> An environment that can run any and every software
> >>>you can throw at it.
> >>
> >>Pretty unrealistic. I can have Mac emulators on PCs, PC emulators
> >>on Macs. Pretty much unusable for *real* work.
> >
> >Why so unrealistic? I've heard that the Mac emulator on Linux as well
> >as WABI on Linux are actually pretty good.
> Why didn't I hear that too? Maybe because our customers do real
> work with their machines? Stuff like publishing magazines or
> creating high-quality graphics for advertizing. I never have
> seen anyone using Photoshop, Xpress, Freehand, etc running
> on an emulator in a production environment. This is actually
> software people pay big bucks to run. I don't care whether
> some of these emulators for outdated system software can run
> a small calendar application - can it host a web server?
> >>I don't need Unix-compatibility (the ability to directly
> >>run Unix software) on my Windows NT. Why would I need it
> >>on LispOS?
> >
> >Well you need compatibility with something.
> Data compatibility more than application compatibility.

Yes, but, one of the main reasons of Symbolics death (apart
from shortsighted management), was that NO application was
available on it !  Yes, a great development environment, but
not even a single spreadsheet to do your counts. Not a word
processor unless you bought Concordia.

> >>What are the benefits of a Lisp OS when you are not using Lisp
> >>software? That is Lisp applications?
> >
> >2 things:
> >- developing new applications (which I hope can be ported back to the
> >real world)
> >- A better environment for doing work in.
> Get LispWorks from Harlequin. It is the integrated environment.
> Available today. You might also take a look at MCL.
> Rainer Joswig, Lavielle EDV Systemberatung GmbH & Co, Lotharstrasse 2b, D22041
> Hamburg, Tel: +49 40 658088, Fax: +49 40 65808-202,
> Email: , WWW:

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