Kernel LISP - how low down can it go?

William A. Barnett-Lewis
Wed, 21 May 1997 23:17:29 -0500

At 10:10 PM 5/21/97 -0500, you wrote:
>| From: Mike McDonald <>
>  [  snip  ]
>|   Why do you think you need access to the underlying machine's
>| individual instructions? About the only thing I can think of that's
>| written in assembler in the version of Unix I'm familiar with is the
>| initialization code (setting up the CPU) and the first level TLB MISS
>| handler. Nothing else needs to be in assembler.
>Perhaps, if you had a suitably defined set of primitive types in Lisp
>(with good compiler support), which we do not get with standard ANSI
>Common Lisp. Besides, once the GC for the LispOS is nailed down, I'm
>sure we will want to tune some parts in assembly, same for the virtual
>memory system. I would be surprised if there was not inline assembly
>here and there in a number of C routines in your version of Un*x. I
>doubt we would want to write great chunks of assembly code either, but
>a bit here, a bit there, in critical system code can create a huge gain
>in performance, especially on CISC CPUs.
>-- Dwight

Hmm.. while I ca understand the temptation, esp, w/ CISC as the target, all
I can say is "Flee!!!"

The ultmate win by Unix was in writing 99% of thier system in portable
assember (aka C) and we can see where it got them! Hoot! We should do
.000001% as well!!

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