Portability (was Re: Unidentified subject!)

Adam Alpern alpern@ns2.brightware.com
Wed, 7 May 1997 21:22:29 -0700

;; Macsyma is now a proprietary program.  Maxima was ported from the
;; non-hoarded Macsyma by William Schelter.  Call Macsyma, "Macsyma", and
;; the weasels will be coming for you!

Oi! Thanks for correcting me - I actually had no idea.

;; GCC has nice extensions, and people use them.  Since GCC is

I don't. They're non-standard, and they make code non-portable. We've
already got a perfectly good C standard - ISO/ANSI-C. Any other
ANSI/ISO compliant compiler will reject code that uses GCC extensions,
because they are non-standard. Code that only compiles in GCC is, by
definition, non-portable.

;; good-quality free compiler that has been ported to everything,
;; portability of the code itself is not a big problem: just build GCC
;; for that target.  If we really want to worry about working code, C,
;; C++, Win32, and Unix are where the bulk of free software exists.

Apples and oranges - we're not talking about GCC, we're talking about
a hypothetical lisp system. I'd really like if the code I write for
that system will still run in the 3 LISPs I currently use - Macintosh
Common LISP, CMU-CL, and Lucid (now Liquid) Common LISP.

You see, I didn't mean portable across platforms. Code that uses GCC
extensions is NOT portable because you can't compile it with anything
other than GCC! At work I write C++ code that has to pass through 6
different compilers on 4 platforms. It's a nightmare. I've also ported
code that used GCC extensions from GCC to Sun Workshop C - it also
made things more annoying than they had to be.

;; I think people that want to code in Scheme should do so, as there is
;; pseudoscheme that runs on top of CMU-CL.  I think whatever is lost in
;; coordination is made up with enthusiasm. 

I agree on the enthusiasm! I've got major trouble just trying to read
all the messages on this list! :-)