Why LispOS?

reti@ai.mit.edu reti@ai.mit.edu
Fri, 27 Mar 1998 22:28 -0500

    Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 19:16 EST
    From: Mike McDonald <mikemac@teleport.com>

    >To: lispos@math.gatech.edu
    >Subject: Why LispOS?
    >Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 14:58:54 -0800
    >From: Fred Gilham <gilham@csl.sri.com>

    >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?

      Well, I think people have gotten carried away with the OS
    part. There's a belief that memory management and scheduler HAVE to be
    written in Lisp for a "LispOS". Sure, given time and EXPERIENCE,
    that'd be nice. But I think a whole lot can be down running on top of
    an existing OS, be it some Unix derivitive or even some version of
    WinDoze. Or all of the above! From the user's environment point of
    view, it should NOT matter what the underlying OS is. Abstract it and
    wrap into oblivion!

The benefit of having the OS written in Lisp is that you can extend and/or
modify it as easily as anything else.  I worked at several projects at
Symbolics in which we had to change or tweak what would be part of an
inaccessible operating system kernel (e.g. disk drivers, network drivers,

    >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

      That's what some of us old farts are interested in. Unfortunately,
    very few on this list have ever seen a Symbolics let alone used
    one. So most people don't understand when we reminisce about the
    glories of Genera!

      Mike McDonald