[Openmcl-devel] Lisp User Interface LUI

Gary Byers gb at clozure.com
Wed Jan 14 15:40:19 PST 2009

If it's possible (license-wise) to bundle QT wih CCL - and desirable
to do so - the next step (or at least a step that'd have to be taken
at some point) might be to try to figure out things like "what is this
C++ thing ?  how does one arrange to correctly call C++ methods and
have lisp code called from C++ code ? can one define new C++
(sub)classes at runtime and define methods on them ?"

There may be other questions that're more relevant.  Any time that
I've tried to understand C++ at this level, my eyes have glazed
over and I've gotten a bad headache.

Since many language implementations (those that aren't C++) often
(a) face similar issues and (b) know how to interpoperate with C
if not C++, many C++ libraries offer a C API to at least some
(possibly large, possibly not) subset of their functionality.
Sometimes (I think that it's fair to say "often", but that
view may be skewed by a small sample size) the C bindings lag
a version or two behind the wrapped C++ library's functionality,
and in some cases the project that maintains the C bindings
stagnate (the maintainers complain of blurred vision and 
painful headaches ...)

I've seen (on this mailing list, maybe 5 years ago) some
lisp<->c++ code that someone was working on; all that I
remember of it was that it was suprisingly simple, clean,
and elegant (as if the author didn't realize that what
they were doing was hard ...).  I think that we tried to
contact them a few years ago but their email address had

I don't know enough about QT to have an opinion of whether
it'd be a good choice as a cross-platform GUI toolkit for CCL.
It'd be good to at least be able to "here's some FFI stuff
and maybe some stuff on top of that, so anyone who wants
to try using QT from CCL can at least do so", and the same
is true for wxWidgets and other GUI and non-GUI C++ libraries
and toolkits.

Unfortunately, we aren't there.  It might indeed be the case
that getting there (to the point of useful C++ interoperability)
isn't incredibly difficult, but the symptoms of C++ exposure
(dread, revulsion, nausea) are certainly real even if they
may not be well-founded.

On Wed, 14 Jan 2009, Raffael Cavallaro wrote:

> On Jan 7, 2009, at 8:43 PM, Alexander Repenning wrote:
>> QT is probably one of the most successful cross platform tools.
>> I am not sure if CCL could just bundle QT given its license. On the
>> Mac it may be hard to mix QT with native Cocoa
> It's recently been announced that the next version of QT (4.5) which
> is due out in March will be released under the LGPL. This is good news
> for those wanting to use it with CCL because they will both use
> essentially the same license:
> <http://www.qtsoftware.com/about/news/lgpl-license-option-added-to-qt>
> regards,
> Ralph
> Raffael Cavallaro, Ph.D.
> raffaelcavallaro at mac.com
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> Openmcl-devel at clozure.com
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