Common or rare Lisp ?

Jordan Henderson jordan@Starbase.NeoSoft.COM
Fri, 16 May 1997 07:18:56 -0500 (CDT)

Ingemar Hulthage <> writes:
> I don't understand the purpose of these discussions about whether
> certain features of Common Lisp are worthwhile or not.  One of the
> strongest arguments for common lisp is that it's an ANSI standardized
> OO language. To depart from that standard is suicide for any lisp, as
> far as I can see.

I can't agree with the above more strongly.  What we need is infrastructure,
infrastructure, infrastructure.  We need a critical mass of Lisp tools and
high quality Lisp environments so we can start to gain momentum.  The only
way I can see this happening is if we focus on extending CL and CLOS.

A lot of the advanced language ideas expressed here are totally valid.  
I would recommend that people set off to implementing these ideas >in CL<.
Write a testbed VM in CL and use CL to generate VM compilers for your 
new languages, or compile to X86, or whatever.  From all reports, CL,
despite all it's flaws, makes an excellent application development 
environment.  Language compilers are applications.  If you have an
idea for a low level language that's needed to support our overall goals
(whatever those might be), then get started working on that low level
language.  I would recommend that you implement it first in CL.  If 
reflectivity is crucial, write your compiler first in CL and then port
your compiler to be defined in terms of itself.  

Such a strategy that I've outlined above is a big win from the standpoint
of developing the kind of infrastructure needed to make a LispOS a 

> Ingemar

-Jordan Henderson