Subject: Re: self-hosting gc
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Tue, 05 Mar 2002 22:12:56 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Thomas Bushnell, BSG
| Consider that if a Lisp system's GC is written in some other language
| (like, say, C) then you now need two compilers to build the language.
| If your only use for a C compiler is to compile your GC, then you have
| really wasted a vast effort in writing one.

  It seems quite natural that someone who writes a Common Lisp system would
  write its guts in some other language first.  After a while, it would be
  possible to bootstrap the building process in the system itself, but it
  would seem natural to build some lower-level Lisp that would enable a
  highly portable substrate to be written, and then cross-compilation would
  be a breeze, but it still seems fairly reasonable to start off with a
  different compiler or language if you want anybody to repeat the building
  process from scratch, not just for GC, but for the initial substrate.  I
  remember having to compile GNU CC on SPARC with the SunOS-supplied C
  compiler and then with the GNU CC thus built, in order to arrive at a
  "native build" and that when Sun stopped shipping compilers with their
  application-only operating system, someone was nice enough to make
  binaries available for the rest of the world.

  Why is GC so special in your view?

  In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none.
  In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief.