Scheme vs. CommonLisp vs. the World

Mike Rilee
Tue, 13 May 1997 05:02:18 -0400 (EDT)

From: Henry Baker
> > I think I can count on my hands how many people think
> > complex numbers should be retained in a new CL.
> I agree that complex numbers should _not_ be part of 'basic'/primitive
> Lisp, but it should be possible to program them as a library package
> on top.  Ditto for bignums.  (Ditto for multidimensional arrays and
> other arcania.)

I agree with the idea of defining a small 'kernel' language on top of which one could
layer a richer functionality.  I'm doing numeric work, and I do not see the need for complex
numbers from the start. I would like to have a programming environment I can program 
at a variety of levels. I do not like to simply feed a compiler  a few flags and hope for the

For 3d modelling, quaternions or clifford algebras are quite important and will be (are being) 
accelerated with hardware--perhaps in FPGAs.  I would rather make it 'easy' to take advantage 
of such hardware than pig up a primitive implementation language with complex numbers.

It would be neat to be able to compile certain lisp objects to an FPGA.  I don't know how
more conventional OSs are going to weather the advent of new hardware... In fact, more
conventional OSs seem to be hindering such.

In the meantime, I'll settle for x86 (or R10k).

Mike Rilee