Why LispOS?

Chris Bitmead chrisb@Ans.Com.Au
Wed, 25 Mar 1998 14:05:29 +0000

Rodrigo Ventura wrote:
> The challenge is indeed to make the LISP communicate with the
> kernel in a way at least as *simple* as the UNIX syscalls. One cannot
> get any simpler than the open()/read()/write()/ioctl()

Of course you can get simpler. You just eliminate them.

> (IMHO this was
> one major factor that led to UNIX development) -- the file
> paradigm. One can access all kinds of different devices, from network
> sockets to serial ports, throught memory itself by the means of this
> API. A similar API is required to LispOS. 


> BTW, I had a couple of more ideas about things LispOS could
> have: to have a graphical interface from the bottom-up, ie no more
> text-only console. 

No text console? Isn't that one of the fascinations of Lisp, to
be able to type at a text console?

> And instead of formating text straight
> to ASCII, using "%d" printf()  or "~a" (format) sequences, why not
> something like LaTeX? (Am I getting crazy?) Well, a small subset of
> LaTeX, including \bf like commands and even font-changing ones (\tt)!
> All together with a PostScript display, we could get it from
> GNUstep. It could become quite neat.

I'm not quite sure what you've got in mind. Where would you use
these TeX like APIs?

LaTeX by itself is a bad tool for laying out GUIs. It is a good
tool for producing documents. But I don't think you had that in
mind did you?