[Openmcl-devel] Lisp for the 21 century: how to deal with URLs

Alexander Repenning ralex at cs.colorado.edu
Sun Jun 7 23:00:02 PDT 2009

It would be nice if we could bring Lisp into the 21 century by adding  
some kind of native support for URLs. For instance, with more and more  
people posting Lisp files by attaching them to emails how about being  
able to just load them via (load URL)? Chances are you already keep  
your files in some web accessible repository, e.g., Google Code/ svn

At a conceptual level there is a question of how to integrate (or  
perhaps replace) the existing notion of CL pathnames with URLs. This  
will cause some headaches but could replace the portable logical  
pathnames with a long overdue modern approach.

At an implementation level, in CCL, one could start by hacking load.  
If the pathname is a string starting with "http://" then the chance is  
pretty good that we are dealing with a URL

(load "http://xmlisp.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/XMLisp/sources/IDE/specific/Mac%20CCL/anticipat-symbol-complete.lisp 

The file could be downloaded via HTTP, perhaps as temp file, and then  
loaded the "old" way. Even here there are questions. Should one use  
CFNetwork?  URLDownload looks temptingly simple but depreciated,  
NSURLDownload hmmmm....   just use TCP streams and make you own HTTP  
GET, ... so many options.

With a bit more work one could do some clever local caching similar to  
Google Gears.

Any suggestions?


Prof. Alexander Repenning

University of Colorado
Computer Science Department
Boulder, CO 80309-430

vCard: http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~ralex/AlexanderRepenning.vcf

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