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Re: [Axiom-developer] Lisp portability

From: Waldek Hebisch
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Lisp portability
Date: Tue, 22 May 2007 20:52:30 +0200 (CEST)

> "Bill Page" <address@hidden> writes:
> > On May 22, 2007 8:54 AM Gabriel Dos Reis wrote:
> >> ...
> >> Waldek wrote:
> >> | <rant>  People frequently wonder why Perl is more popular
> >> | than Lisp.
> >>
> >> Oh, I thought it was Python :-) :-)
> >>
> >
> > People (ambiguous third parties...) often wonder why Python
> > is more popular than Perl ... ;)
> >
> > More seriously, this issue of Lisp (non)portability is a
> > major problem.
> As far as I can tell, this is an odd place to mention portability of
> Lisp.  The rant above was about Lisp's non-ability to use system
> calls, while Perl has that ability.  Wouldn't systems calls in a piece
> of code tend to make it non-portable?  

The rant is just part of the original post.  Let me re-state
my point more clearly:
1) there is no Lisp socket library which is really portable
   between implementations
2) existing libraries have limited functionality
3) there is little support for writing portable libraries
4) in some implementations there is no way (neither portable
   nor nonportable) to write needed routines in Lisp.
5) differences between operating systems are smaller than
   differences between Lisp implementations

Lack of syscalls is particulary relevant to 3 and 4.  Using
syscalls and sytem dependent conditionals/parametrs you can write
portable library.  Similary ordinary Lisp programs could work
around lack of interface libraries.

Note also context: there were proposals to replace C code 
supporting sockets and called via gcl FFI by pure Lisp solution...

                              Waldek Hebisch

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