[Openmcl-devel] we need more aliens and beggars on the list who use GUIs (wws2)

Alexander Repenning ralex at cs.colorado.edu
Mon Apr 5 17:59:22 UTC 2010

On Apr 5, 2010, at 9:38 AM, wws2 new wrote:

> Perhaps I am simply advocating (and begging) that those that go for more should define a layer like I advocate that opens up the basic functionality of PORTABLE COMMON LISP.  I would like to see an intermediate layer that is not all carbonised and cocoafied, except in the handful of files that defines  the lisp functions for (open-graphics-window #@(200 400)) and (draw-line window #@(10 10) #@(190 390) *red-color* *grey-texture) and (place-menu window :items (list (list "Red" *red-color*) (list "Blue" *blue-color*)) :action #'(lambda (self) ...)) and related event handlers.  As well as the rest of the handful, namely  Urwerk and Open-Westream with standard idioms for (file-date ) (directory ) (alias-file-p ) and (get-data-from-url ... ).

I think we basically already have this. We called it LUI the Lisp User Interface. It is part of XMLisp - you don't need to use the XML if you don't want to. LUI is a layer that has been implemented in Cocoa, previously in Carbon and also Franz Window API. LUI works on Windows as well on top of CCL using Cocotron. Cocotron is a pretty large subset of Cocoa for Windows. You can run the same source on Macs and PCs. 

> I think that if LISP is to remain relevant and rejuvenate itself, it must gather its many forces to define that intermediate level.  Perhaps an academic on the list should organise a LISP conference on it.  The language experts should gather pen and paper for a new standard that sets LISP ahead again.  Or perhaps, since I believe that the original Human Interface Guidelines that lead to it have not been surpassed by cocoa and osx, all we need to do is adopt quickdraw lisp and cocoa-ise it.  It seems to me that someone who knows cocoa and carbon should just change traps to something in cocoa  that works.

Quickdraw is dead. Cocoa is doing pretty well these days especially because of iPhones and perhaps now the iPad. MCL is a nice legacy tool. It is time to let go.

> The danger otherwise is that we merely build planned obsolescence into our applications, rather than isolate it in a layer of our applications, which are otherwise conducted in LISP rather than java, carbon, or cocoa or xml...   all of which will have and deserve much shorter lifespans.

I do not want to go here but the entire Lisp versus other kinds of discussion, e.g., S-expressions versus XML is just a waste of time. The landscape of computation has changed for good. We have to deal with it.


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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