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[Gcl-devel] Re: a few questions about the status and direction of GCL

From: mikel evins
Subject: [Gcl-devel] Re: a few questions about the status and direction of GCL
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2004 13:15:52 -0800

On Nov 16, 2004, at 12:57 PM, Camm Maguire wrote:

For better or worse, I continue to be relatively 'existing-app'
oriented, so yes, I would like to help time-permitting with making
GCL work for your project.

Great! The mailing list ballooned to three dozen people in two days, and discussion has been hot and heavy. The main topic right now is which Lisp to use, so your reply is quite timely.

The new project is intended to build an open-source development system
that is similar in spirit and design to the SK8 system developed at
Apple's ATG in the late 80s and 90s. The original creator of SK8 is on
board, and we are having preliminary logisitical and goals discussions.

Quick searching seems to indicate that the original SK8 was released
in source form, no?

Yes, and it's still readily available, but its license is unclear, and its implentation is extremely (Classic) MacOS-centric.

One feature that Ruben (SK8's creator) insists on is Unicode
support. Is such support planned for any soon-to-be forthcoming
release of GCL?

We hadn't discussed this much, but if there is interest, it would not
be too hard from what I can tell, depending of course on what one
means by 'support'.  Perhaps you could briefly describe how any other
lisp system has done this to your satisfaction.  I'm hoping that we
can add a layer of new functions rather than changing the behavior of
existing functions.  There is also the impact on ANSI compliance if
any, of which I am quite ignorant, and hope Paul can illuminate for

The main goal, I believe, is to support really good internationalization at the level of user interface, so I imagine that it would be acceptable if the support was in the form of added string types and functions to deal with them.

Probably the new project will also need MOP features. How well does
GCL support MOP-like features nowadays.

Second time we've been asked about this in the last few days.  My
understanding is that PCL implements MOP in addition to CLOS, and we
use PCL in the ansi build.  In fact, our pcl files follow those in
cmucl quite closely, at least when we're working on this.  Just
browsed through the 'Art of the Metaobject Protocol' spec, and the
functions specified therein all appear to be fboundp in the ANSI
build.  But obviously, I don't use this myself, and so am no expert.
Feedback always appreciated.

We are also likely to be a bit more behind on the 'mop' than on the
ANSI clos, as Paul's test suite to my understanding only covers the

That looks pretty good.

Another very important question concerns support for multiple threads of control. Can you help us out here? I think absence of some sort of multithreading with reasonable performance characteristics is a show-stopper.

Thanks for the info.


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