Subject: Re: CMU CL vs. CLISP?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/07/27
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* (Bruno Haible)
| How long, do you think, will it take for CMUCL's, Allegro CL's, or
| LispWorks's compiler to be modified to generate code for that CPU?

  what an odd way to put it.  of course real compilers aren't "modified to
  generate code" for new processors.  ports are generally prepared some
  time before a new processor becomes availble, if there is demand for it,
  and finalized when the vendor can get their hands on a machine.  that is
  usually some time before the general market can purchase the computers,
  since vendors tend to believe that their markets will increase if there
  are good development tools available for them when they hit the streets.
  this all leads to the obvious conclusion that if there is evidence of
  demand for Allegro CL, say, for IA-64, there will be an Allegro CL
  available for IA-64 before any random user can compile CLISP for it,
  provided he purchases a sufficiently good C compiler first.  or do you
  think GCC will be available for IA-64 as the first compiler that does
  really good code?  last time I looked, the processor manufacturers again
  prefer to do their own compilers, since much interesting work has taken
  place in compiler technology that GCC/EGCS just hasn't caught up with,
  and most of these new processors are so hard to optimize that the work
  necessary to port GCC exceeds the work necessary to roll their own, not
  to mention the usefulness of producing machine code directly instead of
  going through the assembler.

  I'd say your argument backfired on you.

| CLISP is different.
| * It runs fine in an xterm, and is therefore accessible to non-Emacs users.

  huh?  which other Common Lisp doesn't?

| * Its startup time (on Linux - except Linux/Sparc - or Solaris) is only 2.5
|   times as high as a shell's startup time. You can therefore use it as a
|   script interpreter (with structures and CLOS), or as a CGI interpreter.

  the startup time for Allegro CL on my system is 0.06 seconds.  the
  startup time for bash on my system is 0.02 seconds.  wow, you beat my
  factor 3 with a factor 2.5.  I'm _so_ impressed.

| * It supports Unicode, not just as an add-on, but right from the start: The
|   `character' type is Unicode (16 bit). CLISP is therefore the instrument of
|   choice for manipulating HTML or XML text.

  that's odd.  Allegro CL also has 16-bit characters if you ask for it, and
  it has had that for a good number of years.  yes, it's doing Unicode
  under Windows.  I'm currently working on Unicode support for the Unix
  international edition.

| * Its CLX implementation uses libX11 and it therefore up-to-date with all
|   recent X11 developments.

  I don't use CLX, but this sounds like a good thing for those who do.

| Yes, CLISP is different.

  I'd say it's a little less different than you think.  if you want to
  attack others with stuff like "Can you please put aside these prejudices
  about "real" Lisps which you borrowed from past decades?" you might want
  to update your view of the "real" Lisps out there.  you're not fighting
  against Lisp machines, anymore.

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