Why [not] X?

Kelly Murray kem@Franz.COM
Thu, 22 May 1997 20:18:45 -0700

>> Mike> Unlike most of the people on this list, Kelley is actually
>> Mike> doing something other than BSing about who's research
>> Mike> project is better than everyone else's...

>> Well you'll get no apology from me. I'm still trying to determine what
>> this thing is you're building.

No one other than myself, as far as I know, is building anything.

I'll summarize my position:

My goal is to provide a platform where Lisp programmers can succeed
in the marketplace:  that means being able to write applications in Lisp
that are valuable and useful.  

I believe the web has opened up a vast opportunity for Lisp
because it no longer matters what hardware/system/language
is used to develop the applications.
Lisp can compete and win because of its higher development productivity
and lower cost of software maintaince.

What I'm building is a SilkMachine,
a distributed memory multiprocessor x86 machine.
It has no filesystem, only a transaction-based persistent object
system in which objects are persistent can be shared amoung the
multiple machines/processes in the machine.
The machine is accessed through a TCP/IP ethernet.
The user interface is a web browser.
It has a higher level web GUI scripting language called SilkScript.
It has a lower level system language called SILK.
Both languages are based on Common Lisp.
Everything (system and applications) is written in Silk/SilkScript.

A somewhat functional prototype has been built using Linux and ACL.

I'm now implementing the Mail system for the machine.
It should be working in another week or so.
Then I'll implement a majordomo type mailing list application.

I could use a lot of help.

I've already mentioned a web browser in Lisp would be useful.
For a console interface, and on other OS's as an extended developers
user interface.  

Here's another much simpler task: write a dynamic gif generation library.
Model the api interface after the C-based PPM tools would be good.

Here's an even simpler subtask: write a webpage-hit-count gif generator

-Kelly Edward Murray  kem@franz.com