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Re: [Axiom-developer] RE: cross-compiling Axiom

From: root
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] RE: cross-compiling Axiom
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2006 05:18:21 -0400

> Nothing AFAICT in the existing build framework.  I just want to
> mention that GCL unlike some other lisp systems supports both an
> interpreter and a compiler.  This is primarily to aid in developing
> and debugging the compiler, but also provides some means for platform
> independent work.  The whole Axiom system should load and run
> interpreted if desired, and if one has a massive amount of time on
> one's hands :-).  The same holds for the GCL lisp files -- check out
> the saved_pre_gcl image.

Axiom already does this. I use it for deep debugging.
The debugsys image is automatically created in the OBJ/SYS directory.

> One item of medium term interest in GCL development is a just-in-time
> byte-code compiler/interpreter for faster platform-independent
> (i.e. non-native code) execution.  Few have expressed an interest in
> this thus far.

CCL (part of the axiom pile) and CLISP both provide this ability.
Both are portable but slow relative to GCL which was chosen for speed.
There is also a byte-coded lisp that uses the Java VM. This is a solved
problem so I wouldn't spend too much time on it.

CLISP provides a portable ANSI platform and is the one I'm using to test
the ANSI port for Axiom. I'm unlikely to release Axiom on that platform
but will wait use a compiled lisp (hopefully GCL when it is ready).

Instead of a byte-code effort I'd much rather see the ability to 
portably construct a window in which I can draw colored lines from lisp.
Such an effort will make it possible for the graphics to be ported.
There is a lot of work going on in this area and I think it is important.

In general I'd take direction from the Java crowd about new functionality.
Java is interesting only because you can portably do networking, graphics,
database, etc. Lisp is missing the fundamental support hooks to build
these libraries.

Just my opinion.


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