[Openmcl-devel] CCL is a mess

Alexander Repenning ralex at cs.colorado.edu
Wed May 27 08:20:40 PDT 2009

On May 27, 2009, at 6:17 AM, Raffael Cavallaro wrote:

> On May 26, 2009, at 9:45 PM, Alexander Repenning wrote:
>>> Detailed issues: 80% of the examples do not run as condition
>>> is thrown about TITLE missing. It would be good if the example code
>>> within the examples was uncommented and ran on 'compile and load
>>> file'.
> With respect, these defects are particular to xlui and its example
> code (which is commented out, and which often throws errors when
> executed complaining of TITLE missing). They have nothing to do with
> CCL itself.

yes, completely true. I just dumped the entire comment into the email.  
That specific "bug" is about not having evaluated the class  
definitions in the example code before. The suggestion of uncommenting  
is probably a good one. Will do for the next release.

>>> The IDE is abysmally bad to the point of becoming a mockery of
>>> Lisp. Extremelly unstable, beach balls all the time seemingly for
>>> no reason at all, lack of customization, stupid defaults, alien
>>> look & feel with no relevance to Apple HIG. Most importantly: It
>>> does not inspire confidence for someone to make the investment and
>>> learn/use lisp.
> And these are, at base, really all about Hemlock. I've felt similar
> things myself at times. In just about every case, I could trace the
> instability to Hemlock, not CCL itself.
> That said, I think the CCL maintainers (i.e., Clozure) could do
> themselves a big favor in terms of perception if they either replaced
> Hemlock entirely, or reviewed its code closely. It's filled with bugs
> whose affects are glaringly obvious to casual users, and which give
> the false impression that all of CCL is as unstable as Hemlock.
> Recently an "interesting" behavior has appeared in trunk: a Cmd-V
> paste will do nothing for over a full second, then the pasted text
> will suddenly appear. I suppose this is better than having it paste
> the wrong text as it formerly did, but it makes CCL look much lamer
> than it actually is.

I agree, the curb appeal of the CCL/IDE is not great right now. I  
wonder if the person making the comment actually does like any of the  
existing Lisp IDEs such as LispWork or Allegro. I am guessing he/she  
would not like them either. Even the Mac version of LispWorks does not  
really try to deal with Apple's HIG. I actually think CCL does already  
a better job at that. With some more work the instability will  
hopefully go away but some of the other issues raised would probably  
require a much more significant redesign.

Incidentally, I noticed that Lisp sources in Google code do get some  
(must be pre CLOS) Lisp syntax coloring. Have a look at this (not the  
actual content) and notice how Google code marks the code up in some  
interesting ways:


When the code comes up you may initially see the black and white  
versions for a split second before the colorization does its work.  
Have a look at the HTML source of that page.


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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