[Openmcl-devel] Mac App store: solving Lisp's last mile problem

Alexander Repenning ralex at cs.colorado.edu
Mon Oct 25 13:20:20 PDT 2010

On Oct 23, 2010, at 11:37 AM, Ron Garret wrote:

> 1.  Do you really want to develop appstore apps?  Do you really want to be beholden to Apple and accept the risk that they could reject your app or yank it at any time for a possibly bogus reason?  Is that really what you want to do at this point in your life?
> 2.  If you've decided that you really want to develop apps, do you really want to do it in Lisp?  ObjC is not such a bad language.  It has GC and dynamic typing.  And XCode is really a pretty good development environment.  Why not just use it?
> 3.  If you've decided that you really want to develop apps in Lisp, do you really want to do it in Common Lisp?  Maybe putting a thin layer on top of ObjC (a la Clojure), or embedding a little Scheme interpreter in ObjC would be enough to do what you want?
> 4.  If you've decided that you really want to develop apps in Common Lisp, do you really want to do it in Clozure Common Lisp?  Maybe it would be easier to sneak, say, CLisp or ECL past the censors at Apple.
> If you get a big enough group of people to answer yes to *all* of those questions then it might be worthwhile discussing how to use CCL to develop apps.  But otherwise I submit we should focus our attentions elsewhere.  The app store is not all there is.

There are many problems with the App store but at the same time this is a huge opportunity. If you make a little game or utility as a Mac app and try to sell that for $9.99 how could you really pull this off without the Apple App store. Sure, you can make your own web page, wire up your own store, ... but at the end of the day you actually may be better off with the App store. This looks like an amazing opportunity to me. If Lisp is not good for this, what IS it good for these days? What else has the Lisp community produced recently that measurably increased interest in Lisp? Sure, Lisp syntax is a great seller to many but then neither is Objective-C.


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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