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RE: [Axiom-developer] CCL maintenance.

From: Bill Page
Subject: RE: [Axiom-developer] CCL maintenance.
Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 17:29:49 -0400

On May 30, 2007 12:48 PM Stephen Wilson wrote:
> ...
> Bill Page wrote: 
> > As part of the open source release NAG (Mike Dewar) claimed that
> > they had delivered Axiom to Tim Daly in a form that would compile
> > using CCL on Linux. I have never tested this and I think it would
> > be good to know since it at least gives us a standard benchmark
> > for comparison.
> I assume you mean comparison against other Lisp hosts? Im curious
> about the benefit in that.

I meant "benchmark" against which to compare the mathematical output
of Axiom. I think it is important to be able to test to make sure
that the changes we make to the open source version do not lead to
any feature reversions compared to the commercial version of Axiom.
As I understand it there still are a few people and places that
have this version. Otherwise I don't think there is much value in
just comparing a CCL-based version of Axiom to implementations in
other Lisps.

> It would be one thing if Axiom was targeting one Lisp implementation
> in an attempt to exploit all of the extensions and non-standard
> features that particular Lisp provides.  But in this case it would
> most assuredly not be CCL.
> On the other hand, targeting multiple Lisps is of main benefit to
> the user (and a non-negligible burdon on the Axiom developers).

I don't see what benefit targeting multiple Lisps has for end users
of Axiom. To me this seems of benefit only to the developers.

> ... 
> Unfortunately I cant really comment on this aspect.  I have not
> used windows for many, many years.

I am sorry that you are so isolated from the mainstream... ;-)

> I assume what your saying is that CCL provided a means to emulate
> the missing unix functionality on windows without the need for
> a compatibility layer like msys or cigwin?  I could see how that
> would be an advantage for the average windows user as they are
> only interested in a binary blob that works for them.


> We would need to figure out how to effectively cross-compile axiom
> into a native windows app.  I dont see any of that happening myself
> so I would simply rely on my clouded perspective that all the world
> is unix, and let msys/cigwin take care of the rest.

??? There is no version of Axiom (or GCL) for cygwin yet. But
Axiom already compiles as a native Windows app user MSYS/MinGW.

> > Other things that might be for some use in CCL relate to the
> > "saturn" browser interface for Windows which unfortunately was
> > not part of the open source release but might be important for
> > future attempts to rivive this kind of interface on Windows
> > and Linux.
> I never saw "saturn", so i dont really know what it is. I have
> no way to resurect it or test it.  I doubt I will spend time
> reverse-engineering something like that.

Too bad. I think it was a thing of great beauty that was lost
to the world due to the proprietary software development model.

> Besides, I thought the whole Axiom-in-a-browser was the 
> preferred route towards a cross-platform interface?

Yes. That is precisely what I am talking about. That is what
"Saturn" was. Please refer to the Axiom developer email

> ... 
> Initially, supporting CCL would not be terribly expensive.
> I belive the build amchinery is present in all the branches to
> support it.  Its the long term cost of having to maintain both
> Axiom _and_ CCL that is convincing me the resources are not
> available. Esp. since Axiom wants to be Ansi compliant and CCL
> is certanly not.

It is a major assumption to say that "Axiom wants to be Ansi
compliant". Obviously this depends on how you view the relationship
between Axiom and Lisp.

> ... 
> > As far as I know, Arthur Norman, the author of CCL is still a
> > member of this email list. *If* we were to choose to continue some
> > support for Axiom in CCL I think he might be interested and may
> > be quite flexible about license issues.
> I probably should not have made a satement about the licence anyways.
> But any input from Arthur would certainly be appreciated.

Yes indeed. I did have several very fruit discussions with him
about CCL just prior to when we got the first version of Axiom
based on GCL working on Windows. For a while it seemed that CCL
was going to be a faster way to that goal until Mike Thomas
solved the last remaining problems with Axiom and GCL in that

Bill Page.

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