[Openmcl-devel] the Intel macs

Gary Byers gb at clozure.com
Wed Jun 8 18:27:13 PDT 2005

I don't want anyone who reads the message that Robert quoted to feel bad,
but I also hope that no one who reads it feels good (from an OpenMCL
perspective) either.  I guess that I'd hope for neutrality or indifference,
since I don't this has -too- much to do with the issues involved in
porting OpenMCL to x86[32,64].

It -is- encouraging to note that (apparently) the ObjC runtime on 86
Macs is similar enough to the PPC version that programs that hook into
it (like PyObjc and hopefully OpenMCL's Cocoa bridge) will be able to
do so fairly easily.  (There's a little bit of low-level cruft
involved in how ObjC exceptions interact with lisp callbacks, and that
PPC-specific cruft may have to be replaced with x86-specific cruft,
but most of OpenMCL's ObjC bridge is (what I think of as) pretty
high-level code, built on top of several other lower layers.)

People who've thought about the issues related to getting all of those
other layers ported to x86 have probably gone through some fairly
violent mood swings over the last few days.  At this point, I think
that the best cure for that would be some concrete technical
information, and it seems reasonable to assume that that will continue
to trickle in.

What needs to be done isn't yet entirely clear (is x86-32 relevant ?
when will x86-64 be supported ? etc.).  We all have lots of questions,
and we (Clozure, other interested parties ...) do have to come up with
some answers in the fairly near future.

I've put about 20 years into this (in one form/shape/incarnation or
another), and other people and institutions have also made significant
investments.  I don't know exactly what these answers will be, but I
can promise that they won't be "we looked at it superficially, realized
that it was hard, and decided not to do anything."

On Wed, 8 Jun 2005, Robert Pratte wrote:

> This might make people feel better, if they have not read it already.  This 
> came from the cocoa-dev mailing list today:
> Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2005 10:43:25 -0700
> From: Bill Bumgarner <bbum at mac.com>
> Subject: PyObjC on Intel
> To: Cocoa List <cocoa-dev at lists.apple.com>
> Message-ID: <8811D7C6-9CC5-4663-969E-837D9C26B4E8 at mac.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; delsp=yes; format=flowed
> Last night, Ronald ported PyObjC to the Intel based Macintoshes in
> less than 2 hours.   It passes all of the unit tests except the
> mach_inject tests.
> This may be helpful to other bridge or bridge-like software developers.
> b.bum
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