Why LispOS?

Fred Gilham gilham@csl.sri.com
Tue, 24 Mar 1998 14:58:54 -0800

Perhaps this has been discussed before, but I'm curious about why
people want LispOS.  What do we expect it to do for us that just
running some lisp system on unix won't?

My own interests are for a more integrated lisp development
environment.  For example, I still remember using Masterscope on the
Dandelion; I could display a function call tree, click on the nodes
and get source, do all kinds of queries as to who called or used what,
and so on.

But this doesn't require LispOS.

I'm also interested in a top-to-bottom environment that exposes more
of the machine at the lisp level.  This does seem to be something that
LispOS is needed for.

Another question that arises is whether there's anyone with the time
and desire to actually code this up.  Personally I have neither
(because I'm currently not interested in groveling around operating
system internals and such).  I'm more interested in working at a
higher level, perhaps working on Masterscope-like tools.  I'm also
limited in time---if I really get going I can spend 3 or 4 hours a

I'd love to be able to slip a CD in my Intel box and an hour later
have a Symbolics look-alike.  But I can get along with what I have.
Is there anyone on this list who is just foaming at the mouth :-) to
create the Symbolics look-alike?

-Fred Gilham   gilham@csl.sri.com