Lambda the Ultimate

inactiveTopic Lisp Machine Progress Report
started 5/16/2004; 7:12:41 PM - last post 5/17/2004; 6:49:58 PM
Luke Gorrie - Lisp Machine Progress Report  blueArrow
5/16/2004; 7:12:41 PM (reads: 13064, responses: 1)
Lisp Machine Progress Report
AI Memo 444, 1977. Alan Bawden, Richard Greenblatt, Jack Holloway, Thomas Knight, David Moon, Daniel Weinreb

This informal paper introduces the Lisp machine, describes the goals and current status of the project, and explicates some of the key ideas. It covers the Lisp machine implementation, Lisp as a system language, input/output, representation of data, representation of programs, control structures, storage organization, garbage collection, the editor, and the current status of the work.

This illustrates what I find attractive about Lisp: nevermind the macros, I want to do stuff as cool as this!

P.S., does anyone know if the system sources to the MIT Lisp Machine, which RMS so famously hacked, are available? I want them!

Posted to implementation by Luke Gorrie on 5/16/04; 7:16:58 PM

Tayssir John Gabbour - Re: Lisp Machine Progress Report  blueArrow
5/17/2004; 6:49:58 PM (reads: 395, responses: 0)
Interesting quote from their paper in Interactive Programming Environments, which is like a later version of the paper cited above.

"In some sense, rather few explicit design decisions were called for in the LISP Machine effort. Many times, what people think of as design decisions are actually attempts to minimize inefficiencies resulting from outside constraints which in turn result from incorrect decisions earlier in the design process (incorrect, at least, when considered from the point of view of the project at hand). Since we were starting from scratch, we had a minimum of this kind of problem to contend with.

"Another way to look at it is that there were relatively few 'flash of brilliance' type decisions. Instead thedecisions resulted from accumulated experince in such a way that it was evident to all concerned what the 'right' way to do something was well before we were in a position to actually do it. In many cases, key ideas which were obviously good had been floating around the 'hacker' community for many years. The problem was simply that an appropriate system base in which to install them did not exist."

-- "The Lisp Machine" Greenblatt, Holloway, Knight, Moon, Weinreb

Also I learned a lot from those Chineuals. Good informal tone.