Kernel LISP - how low down can it go?

Dave Hudson
Thu, 22 May 1997 14:29:19 +0100 (BST)

On Wed, 21 May 1997, Fare Rideau wrote:

> >: Dave Hudson
> Hi Dave! Moving past VSTa?

Well I've not really done much VSTa hacking since 1995 - mainly I've been 
working with Artemis I, II and III.  It's actually the experience from 
these 3 that have left me looking to try and do something a little bit 
different.  Whilst they have the same name, they use pretty fundamentally 
different approaches to things (the first one uses processes and threads, 
the second a different IPC model and Plan 9-style processes, whilst the 
third uses virtual machines and virtual interrupts to handle comms 
between them).  I would certainly hope that a kernel Lisp will give far 
more flexibility to explore some other ideas.

> > how low-level [is it] possible to get with something like Lisp
> > before it's necessary to hit some sort of assembler code?

> For instance, you could have something like GCC's asm() statements,
> where you specify a both the assembly code and its calling convention.

I'd dearly like to avoid this if at all possible.  If my Lisp compiler's 
going to target a specific CPU I'd rather expand it to cope with cases 
where I'd reach for inline asm code with gcc.  Certainly one of the 
reasons why I'd like to explore the idea of a kernel Lisp is because I 
hope it will allow a simple enough compiler to make such modifications 
relatively straightforward.