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RE: [Axiom-developer] Aldor and Lisp

From: Weiss, Juergen
Subject: RE: [Axiom-developer] Aldor and Lisp
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2005 11:42:40 +0200


"as someone who shared his office for a few years
with Knut Wolf, who had been working for about a year
on A# (aldor), I can say" ;-) :

The old code was difficult to maintain. There was (is)
litte documentation. The error messages of the compiler
are not really very helpful. Errors in the code were hard
to fix. On the typical hardware of that time
(AIX Workstation), the compiler was quit slow. (There
were some changes to speed up the SPAD compiler later).

I think, there had been an attempt for a reimplementation
in Lisp/Boot before. 

Why they decided to reimplement in C and not in Lisp
I do not know. 

So there were quite a few technical reasons for a rewrite.

> > > > It is notable I think, that the original Axiom 
> > > > developers chose to re-implement SPAD as Aldor
> > > > (written in C) rather than continue to make
> > > > improvements to SPAD.
> > 
> > I'm absolutely certain that the reason for this was rather
> > a political than a technical one.
> >
> Could you explain what makes you absolutely certain of this?
> Can you cite any references to Axiom or Aldor literature?
> In what sense was it "political"? Who stood to gain by such
> a decision?
> To me the technical reasons seem rather obvious. So please
> forgive me if I seem rather skeptical.

With best regards

Juergen Weiss

Juergen Weiss     | Universitaet Mainz, Zentrum fuer Datenverarbeitung,
address@hidden| 55099 Mainz, Tel: +49(6131)39-26361, FAX:

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