Kernel LISP - how low down can it go?

William A. Barnett-Lewis
Wed, 21 May 1997 22:52:48 -0500

At 10:59 PM 5/21/97 +0200, you wrote:

Various ideas have been posted here and on the "path" threads... Ultimately,
I must be dense, because I really can't say that I have yet seen the benifit
of reflection or imutability (sp?).  Now, have I simply missed a couple of
simple papers that express these ideals? I certainly have read several in
hope of finding an answer to these things. All I can say that I know, is the
Interlisp of my copy of Medley and the CL of Allegro; beyond that is pure
theory that is meaningless if it doesn't make my life as a programmer easier.  

What do _I_ want? I want a CL that will do all the things that were
expressed in Greenblatt (et al)'s AI Memo # 444 of 8/77. As I reread it, I
see everything substantial that we are arguing about today already present.
I won't even _mention_ a certain history paper by Steele and Gabriel and the
nasty fights it recalls... 

Mr Baker, I've read your papers and, as I said above, I'm bloody dense. I
really don't understand what your immutable cons cells have as an advantage
over, say, the spaghetti stack of way too long ago...

Mr Rideau, I know I'm dense when I try to follow you arguments. Reflection
seems to me to be a fancy way of expressing what Mr Kay was talking about
back in the Dynabook days when PARC took Interlisp and created Smalltalk...

Please don't get me wrong...I am not looking for, say, DEFINEQ vs DEFUN.
What I am trying to do do is find a way that I can map what was good once
upon tommorrow. If, in fact, these methods are the best way to do so, then
show me that. Otherwise, I'llo stick to #444 & company and simply reinvent a
long lost wheel...

William A. Barnett-Lewis
"We are artists.  Poets paint motion  and light.  Historians paint stills.
It can be dangerous to get history from a poet.  It can also be the greatest
						Larry Miller Murdock