Why LispOS?

Kragen kragen@pobox.com
Thu, 26 Mar 1998 12:00:07 -0500 (EST)

On Tue, 24 Mar 1998, Mark J. Dulcey wrote:
> fully integrated with the environment. Since the system also had
> a full bitmapped display, and the editor understood multiple
> typefaces, you could do a few tricks that Emacs can't on most
> platforms, including my favorite - Electric Font Lock Mode. (It
> automatically changed Lisp comments to a different typeface when
> you typed in your code.)

electric-*-mode and font-lock-mode are part of GNU Emacs and XEmacs
now, not surprisingly.

> Third, the compiler was nicely integrated with the editor. ZMacs
> understood what parts of your buffers had changed, and recompiled
> only the relevant pieces of code, so test/fix/recompile cycles
> were VERY fast. (And unlike most programming environments, you
> really did only need to recompile the functions that changed, for
> reasons I will detail later.)

GNU Emacs and XEmacs are almost capable of doing this now -- in Lisp
interaction mode or inferior Lisp mode, you can move your cursor to the
end of a defun and hit control-J, which passes the current sexp to the
appropriate Lisp interpreter.  In some environments, this means that
the function will be redefined.

A lot of folks from LMI, Symbolics, and Lucid have contributed a lot of
code to GNU Emacs and XEmacs.