[Openmcl-devel] M1

mikel evins mevins at me.com
Mon Feb 21 06:37:13 PST 2022

> On Feb 21, 2022, at 8:13 AM, Joakim Sandgren <info at joakimsandgren.com> wrote:
> is there a fee every year for lispworks ? /joakim

Sort of; not exactly.

There's an initial purchase price that varies from zero (for the crippled personal edition) to $4500 for the all-the-bells-and-whistles enterprise edition.

In addition, there is an optional annual maintenance subscription that is $375 (for 32-bit versions) or $750 (for 64-bit). You don't have to buy the annual maintenance, but if you do then you get free upgrades when new major versions are released. If you don't have a maintenance contract and want a new version, you have to pay full price.

You also don't have to upgrade to new versions. If you want to, you can buy a version of Lispworks, don't buy the maintenance contract, and never spend another dime on the product. If you buy the Professional or Enterprise edition, you can deliver all the apps you want and do whatever you like with them (except build and distribute a Lisp development environment) and you never owe them another dime.

But you don't get source code for the Lisp. You get sources for the editor, but that's all.

CCL's unique value proposition is that it's a free, open-source Lisp that integrates well with the native windowing system and other platform frameworks on macOS. Unfortunately, it looks like macOS is migrating to Apple Silicon and CCL isn't. As far as I know, there is no other Lisp that substitutes for CCL's unique combination of advantages.

If you want a good Common Lisp that is free and gives you all of its sources, SBCL is a good choice, but it doesn't offer good integration with native windowing systems and doesn't offer a built-in native windowing IDE. There are ways to build windowing apps with it, but they aren't built in like CCL's support for macOS, and they're more complicated to use.

If you want good integration with native windowing systems—arguably better than CCL, since it's cross platform—there's Lispworks, but it's not free and doesn't give you the sources.

If you want a free Lisp that offers at least some way to build native windowing apps, there's ECL plus Qt. ECL works natively on M1. However, setting up ECL with Qt is rather complicated, and ECL depends on the platform C compiler to generate native code, which adds to the configuration burden. Also, like SBCL, ECL lacks a windowing IDE, unless you count Emacs and SLIME.

So it looks like you can't get everything you want; you'll have to decide which things are most important to you.

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