Subject: Re: Free Common Lisp for PPC?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1998/05/05
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* David Bakhash
| what are the downsides of CLISP?

  mainly lack of commitment to ANSI Common Lisp.  the developers have many
  peculiar attitudes against several important aspects of the language, and
  have refused to implement necessary functionality to support writing
  ANSI-conforming Common Lisp code.  it is also slow in some areas and very
  fast in others, which skews your priorities in optimizing your code,
  basically away from writing your own abstractions and using "raw Common
  Lisp", because it does that really fast.  it has an amazingly fast bignum
  implementation, for instance.  it also sports variable-length floating
  point numbers.  such things may matter much to some.  conformance matters
  more to me, so I don't use CLISP, anymore.

| I noticed that it's .fas files are still ascii.  does that imply that
| they're somehow limited in how fast they can exectute (relative to, say,
| Allegro, which dumps some sort of binary in its .fasl files).

  this is a very faulty conclusion.  what you see is never what you get.
  external and internal representation of objects has long been a major
  issue with the Lisp family.  a list is not a list in memory, it's a
  number of cons cells and machine pointers and such.  the external form of
  the function objects in CLISP is ASCII for a number of good reasons.  the
  internal form is efficient in its own ways and is still machine bytes.
  the external form of various objects in Allegro's FASL files are binary
  for a number of good reasons.  the internal form is efficient in its own
  ways, but the FASL file still interpreted as a byte stream to conctruct
  them.  so it's same difference.

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