LispOS Manifesto

Richard Coleman
Mon, 17 Nov 1997 23:16:03 -0500

This mailing list is about to get really busy again....

When I started the LispOS mailing list, there was quite a bit of
excitement and enthusiasm.  Since I was busy at the time, I was
hoping someone else would eventually take over and coordinate the
lispos project.  But that never happened, and the enthusiasm waned.

Now that I have more time, I'm about to start some real work on the
lispos project.  It seems nothing interesting ever gets done in life,
unless someone is foolish enough to stick their neck out and take
a chance.  So I've decide it might as well be me.  And for better
or worse, I'm setting some definite goals and projects to work on.
I'm hoping others will join in and help.

Of course, many people will disagree with my decisions and the
reasons behind them.  That's fine.  But someone has to stand up and
pick a direction, or nothing will ever get done.  So I've decided
to do just that.

It anyone disagrees with what I've decided, then that's fine.
But I respectfully ask that you if disagree with the direction I've
picked, then please start your own mailing list and start a new
project, rather than trying to destroy this one.  The Lisp/Scheme
community spends too much time arguing about small details.  We need
to pick a direction and work on it (even if we regret it later).

I'm sure the Scheme folks will question why I've decided to go with
Common Lisp rather than Scheme.  This is a subject we can argue
about forever, but ultimately we have to pick one of them and do it.
That's what I've done.

So here are the short and long term goals.

ULTIMATE GOAL: A full self-hosting Common Lisp based operating system
               for x86 based machines.  We will use CMUCL on top of the
               Flux OS toolkit from Utah.

This is obviously an ambitious, long term project.  So instead
of tackling this directly, I would like to begin with several
subprojects.  These projects all have utility outside of lispos.
We may be able to get people interested in these projects, even if
they are not interested in directly developing lispos.


1) Continued general development of CMUCL.  In particular the new
   work on lisp threads.
2) Continued development of the free CLIM implementation.
3) Continued development and expansion of the editor Hemlock.

I hope people will join in and contribute.  I will be sending out
more information about these tasks soon.

Richard Coleman