Some things to work on [Re: Mailing list problems?]

Dwight Hughes
Fri, 30 May 1997 22:56:54 -0500

| From: Jordan Henderson <jordan@Starbase.NeoSoft.COM>
| I hope I don't open up a big can of worms here, but if people 
| pick the typical Unix-like fileutils to work on I recommend
| recasting them in a functional style.  This would be helped by
| having a standard set of conventions for generators.  Is the
| work done for scsh pertinent here?   I'm on shakey ground here,
| but I understand that the scsh people did a lot of good work
| mapping the Unix environment into a functional style.  Even
| if we eventually reject many Unix paradigms, doing something
| like (or just using) scsh might be a good place to start.

I think we will certainly have "files" at the beginning, and
perhaps for a long time to come. We must also interoperate with
all the traditional file based OSs out there, so we *will* need
fileutils of some kind. However, I don't know enough about
scsh to comment.

| I would hate to have a set of ported Unix utilities that are
| just written in Lisp rather than C.

So would I. I think the functionality needed for interoperability
with Unix and its files is more important to us than the Unix
utilities themselves, in most cases. Being able to _import into_/
_export from_ the LispEvn all your work from/to whatever flavor of
Unix you prefer will be very valuable. We need some sort of
tar, gzip, gunzip,... for sure.

| OK, what _are_ some utilities needed to support development?  
| Source code control?  Make?  An editor (Hemlock?).

One thing we might look at is seeing what we can do to free
Hemlock from its dependence on CLX, and thus to the X interface.
Perhaps just refactoring it to minimize changes necessary to
port it to another GUI. (Martin's comments gave me the impression
that it is tied rather tightly to the X interface - I haven't
looked at Hemlock's code yet to see how it is structured.)

| Some productivity tools?  A calendar, calculator, spreadsheet?

Are there some good dictionaries we can bring into the LispEnv
without too much sweat? A nice HTML/SGML/XML viewer/editor
(not a general web-browser) for viewing/creating various doc
(a help system?) would be useful too.

| I could keep track of who is working on what at 

-- Dwight