Subject: Re: lisp shell ala scsh
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 22:22:44 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Lynn H. Quam
| Has anyone attempted to implement a "lisp shell" based on scsh, the
| "scheme shell", or any of its major components?

  Yes.  In-house only, called CLUNIX.  It started out as a collection of
  various abstractions of the horrible mess that was package management and
  system administration databases and control variables, then got a little
  shell.  Then it godt stuck in missing a crucial piece, CLEMACS, which,
  after a long time of study and research was basically relegated to my
  next life (provided I don't come back as a cat, which I would like).  The
  reason for this is non-obvious.  I am not a huge fan of job control as
  BSD has implemented it, because I want processes output to be in their
  own space (buffer), to be seen as "values" of programs, and I wanted to
  keep them around, not just print them on the terminal _or_ pour them down
  some drain (pipe), as well as controlling the destination buffer of more
  than one file descriptor.  E.g., if you have typed a program name, you
  might know it has a --help option, but deleting your input line to type
  that and maybe look at it while you produce a new command, has both
  interrupted your work flow, it has filled your precious terminal space
  with junk information, which you should be able to remove once you are
  doing with it.  Likewise, tracing something or requesting verbose running
  or shell scripts, would naturally go in a different buffer while ordinary
  output went in an undiluted window.  Now the "exitcing" part, I wanted
  input to be a dialog between the input system and the program, such that
  as much pre-processing could be done in the shell as possible.  (This
  harkens back to the TOPS-20 CMND JSYS, for those familiar with it, where
  te exec (command processor) actually called the programs with defined
  entry points in order to run application code in order to instruct the
  input parser.  I probably made it less than obvious why it is brilliant
  with this brief statement, so just trust me.)  Unix can only fake this by
  running the program with various half-standardized options, so I had
  hoped to combine some of Emacs interactive form to communicate this kind
  of information to a top-level user.  All in all there were far too many
  "good idea" in CLEMACS to keep my concentration, and it was turning into
  one of those projects that, if it were ever completed, your life would
  suddenly find itself devoid of meaning.  However, I am still young.

| If nobody has made a serious effort to implement these aspects of scsh in
| Common Lisp, perhaps I should.  I realize that much of the work involved
| is OS and CL vendor FFI specific, and that it is non-trivial to make this
| happed for all Lisp on all OSes.

  Serious effort would be required to make this _not_ be its own full
  implementation of Common Lisp.  As I see it, it has some properties of a
  full-blown window system.  And well know how much work _that_ is.  But
  rob Bill Gates of a billion for me, and we can work something out.
  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.

  70 percent of American adults do not understand the scientific process.