[Openmcl-devel] sharing data between fortran and OpenMCL

Hamilton Link hamlink at comcast.net
Sat Oct 2 10:51:49 PDT 2004

> Getting even further off-topic, one of the things that bothers me 
> about lisp is the notion that the lisp way is the right way and 
> everything else doesn't matter. One of the things that I _really_ like 
> about OpenMCL is the interface database and the relative ease with 
> which one can interface with foreign code. It's a fact of life that we 
> live in a heterogeneous world.

I could say the same thing about C++ etc. -- many of them have FFI 
libraries to different languages, but to which ones? Mostly they can 
call into C libraries. Java has garbage collection and moves stuff 
around, and you can't allocate stuff as far as I know in a way that 
prevents it from moving around. If you want to do JINI magic to make 
FFI calls, those objects get copied all over the place in and out of 
GCed space (iirc).

I don't know that Java can call into Fortran, and I'm pretty sure C++ 
is right out for the same reason it's right out in openmcl -- i.e. that 
there's no standard memory representation for C++ objects and every 
compiler does it a little differently. So doing FFI calls into C++ is a 
nightmare that is very target-libraries-compiler specific.

Anyhow, hey let's all play nice with one another -- it's the why can't 
we get along question, and as heterogeneous as the world is most 
languages don't play well with others. Lisp has to play well with 
others because the others all have enough resources to redundantly 
define a thousand libraries, and we don't. Sure is a sore spot for some 
lisp programmers though, not me so much (honestly, I'm mostly talking 
from a tech point of view of the obstacles of why it won't happen in 
the ideal complete fashion).


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