Subject: Re: Is LISP dying?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/07/24
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* (Rob Warnock)
| Yup!!!  I learned a *lot* (in the early 1970's) from reading the
| sources to TOPS-10, the operating system for the DEC PDP-10, which
| was shipped with every PDP-10.

  funny you should say that.  I "grew up" on PDP-10's, too, somewhat later
  than you did, however, and worked with both TOPS-10 and TOPS-20, the
  COMND JSYS of which is still a better way to do command-line interfaces
  than anything implemented since then, not to mention the way the program
  itself would be "half-started" in order to help complete its own command
  line.  in general, it's a real pity so little of what was done so well in
  those systems were communicable to those who had not used them.

  however, the sources to TOPS-10 were not availble to the public: you had
  to purchase the computer first to get the operating system for "free".
  since the demise of the TOPS-20 project at Digital, the sources for the
  last version have been rumored to be about to be released about 20 times,
  to my knowledge, and still nothing has happened.  I don't know what is so
  important to protect, but it is clearly not "free software" in the sense
  we're discussing these days.

  suppose we blasted all politicians into space.
  would the SETI project find even one of them?