Unidentified subject!

Jordan Henderson jordan@Starbase.NeoSoft.COM
Sat, 3 May 1997 11:01:57 -0500 (CDT)

Tim Pierce wrote:
> Here is a possible breakdown of the LispOS group into working
> groups.  Comments welcome, but I would like to see these projects
> start to crystallize quickly.
One other project that might be started would be a C->Lisp compiler
project.  Here are a few goals I think might be beneficial for this

	* Produce maintainable Lisp from the compiler.

	  The idea will be to compile the C code once and throw it
	  away.  It will translate all comments into Lisp comments
	  (perhaps even keeping the original C as comments).  My
	  hope is that this will allow increased focus to the 
	  project as a whole.  I'm sympathetic to the guy who wants
	  to be able to use his TeX docs in the new OS, but I don't
	  want to spend a lot of resources supporting C programming

	* Have a Lisp->C compiler integrated with the system.

	  As an adjunct to the Lisp->C compiler, if we had a good
	  C->Lisp compiler (there are a lot of starting points for
	  this) then we could take large bodies of C code, compile,
	  maintain and improve it in Lisp and produce C for other
	  environments.  This would make the system practical from
	  a business point of view as a development system compatible
	  with the rest of the world's systems.

	  Such a Lisp->C, C->Lisp combo might eventually make variants
	  like a Linux port maintained entirely in Lisp possible 

	  No time should be spent making the resulting C maintainable.

There's no reason why a lot of sub-projects can't be started (ala GNU)
as long as they all are synergistic with the main goals.  I may be 
modelling my idea for the greater project heavily on GNU, but we could
do worse.

Remember that GNU started as a Unix OS project over 10 (15?) years ago and is
just now getting out the Hurd.  It may well be that some of the side
projects will have the greatest benefit in the next 10 years on the 
LispOS project as well.  Attractive products like Emacs and GCC have
sustained GNU for years while the real project was moving ahead quite

Speaking of GNU.  I think one thing that would greatly benefit the long-term
viability of this project would be a manifesto, a creed to rally behind.
Why ARE we involved in a project to do a LispOS.  My feeling is that we
see all the problems that have been spawned by C and other inferior 
languages and we want to replace the OS and the basic tenets of OS design,
from the ground up, using a better, more flexible, more adaptable 
substrate, Lisp.

Anyone volunteering to work on a manifesto?

-Jordan Henderson