Subject: Re: Using Lisp to Call another program in linux? From: Erik Naggum <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 11 Nov 2002 04:13:12 +0000 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <email@example.com> * Scott Schwartz | It's just that I'm willing to settle for 90% portable. In that case, Common Lisp is not known to comply. | I don't understand why all the unix lisp implementors cannot agree on | what to name the lisp interface to the standard function for running | another program on unix. Neither can I. | While you are happy to nit-pick this into oblivion, perl and python | have posix packages and get the job done with no fuss at all. What truly amazes me is that you do not understand that Perl and Python are /only/ implemented on POSIX systems and have no specification at all. | > | but one that would require the lisp community to recognise that there is | > | a standard, portable, API, that's almost always available, certainly | > | available if you're running on any form of unix or windows. | > | > But Common Lisp does not thusly limit itself. | | Having a posix package, whereever possible, would not limit Common Lisp. | It would make it much more useful, though. Look, is this really hard for you? Common Lisp is not limited to running on "any form of Unix or Windows", /meaning/, it runs on /more than/ Unix and Windows and it cannot limit standard functionality that which works on Unix and Windows because of Posix. Why do you think we have pathnames instead of simply using strings? I assume you favor removing them, like some of the people working for a well-known Common Lisp vendor do, but that does not change the fact that Common Lisp is supposed to be portable to /more/ systems than those that can conveniently work with strings. One thing I cannot understand about Unix is why they were so incredibly stupid as to use slash-delimited "strings" in the system call interface, which makes it impossible even to quote the slash if it is desired in a filename. This is so fucking unbelievably retarded that the morons who thought this up should have been shot. The solution is /really/ simple. Instead of a string with slash-delimited components that the kernel has to hack up into substrings, convert all non-escaped slashes to NUL bytes in the caller and thus use the illegal NUL for both directory and string terminator. An initial NUL byte would mean the pathname is absolute. The first empty string to follow in the list of strings would terminate the pathname. (That is, two NUL bytes instead of one.) This would allow the entire character set to be used in filenames and nobody would have to be mortally afraid of any other character encoding that could clobber the magic #x2F byte value. This braindamaged aspect of the Unix design shows what kind of simple-minded approach these guys took to their types. -- Erik Naggum, Oslo, Norway Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder. Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.