Subject: Re: Who needs another Lisp _standard_? (Was: Re: islisp)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1998/08/30
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Andi Kleen <>
| Could someone shortly explain the major differences between Common Lisp
| and the current ISLisp draft?

  for what it's worth, ISO/IEC 13816:1997 "Information technology --
  Programming languages, their environments and system software interfaces
  -- Programming language ISLISP", has been passed.  it's 126 pages long.

  the major difference?  Common Lisp is an "a posteriori" standard, while
  ISLisp is an "a priori" standard, i.e., for Common Lisp, experiences from
  the real world preceded the creation of the standard, while in the ISLisp
  case, the standard precedes experiences from the real world.  ISO has
  been a breeding ground for a priori standards lately, especially in the
  "information technology" area.  such standards usually fail to become
  adopted, since nothing exists from which users migrate into complying
  systems, and no implementation that has had years of experiences to iron
  out the early design flaws and implementation problems to help implement
  or migrate an implementation into compliance.

  I fail to see any positive purposes of ISLisp, although I can see the
  negative purposes of it becoming a standard very clearly.  such is the
  case of many features in standards and even in many standards.  those who
  like sausages, laws, and standards are well advised not to learn how they
  are made.

#:Erik, who worked with ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 18 standards for four years.
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