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Re: [Axiom-developer] Re: lisp portability

From: Gabriel Dos Reis
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Re: lisp portability
Date: Tue, 22 May 2007 14:21:58 -0500 (CDT)

On Tue, 22 May 2007, C Y wrote:

| --- Gabriel Dos Reis <address@hidden> wrote:
| > Again, you are missing the point.  The issue isn't that conversion to
| > ANSI Lisp is hard per see.  The point is that to make the whole
| > useful -- as opposed to sticking with on Lisp implementation and
| > deeply depend on all its extensions and implementation defined
| > aspects -- the common subset of the various ANSI Lisp is reduced to
| > something essentially trivial that does not help solve the most
| > interesting problems.  We migh just as well abandon it.  
| Gaby, are you advocating a complete abandonment of Lisp in favor of
| implementing Boot and SPAD in another language?  Or abandoning the
| attempt to make sockets work through Lisp?

Here is what I'm suggesting:

  * Abandon the idea that Axiom should be rewritten completely in Lisp.
    That is both pointless, resource waste.

  * Write as little as possible in Lisp.  Just the bare minimum 
    necessary to boot Boot.

  * Write the code of the compiler in Boot (when we cannot write it in Spad). 
  * Improve Boot -- I already have enough to get rid of most of
    Lisp forms.

    In particular, pay attention to resist the temptation of letting 
    Lisp variabilities enshrine into the Boot interface.

    Rely on the mechanimsation at the Boot translator level to achieve things
    that are painful to do directly at the bar Lisp level.

  * For Axiom runtime system: Think of Lisp as just on assembly language Axiom
    can be compile to.  Define a Virtual Machine for Axiom (yes, I klnow of
    FOAM).  In particular, have the algebra files depend only on the Axiom
    Virtual Machine instruction set.

-- Gaby

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