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Free Lisp with GUI

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Johann Murauer

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Jan 16, 2002, 11:32:23 AM1/16/02
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Hi,

I think about using lisp for a new project (purely non-commericial).
There is a need for a GUI (Buttons, Listboxes, scrollbars, grahical
output, ...) and it should run under Win32 (NT / XP / 2000) and Linux.

My question: is there a free (or very cheap) lisp implementation which
either has a build-in GUI or has an easy interface to Qt, GTK or
something similar that runs under Linux and Win32.

(If not I have to do the programming in C++, but maybe I could run
some subporcesses in Lisp which will do the logical operations. Is
this possible ?)

May thanks and best regards,
Johann Murauer
jmur...@acm.org


Friedrich Dominicus

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Jan 16, 2002, 11:55:06 AM1/16/02
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jmur...@acm.org (Johann Murauer) writes:

> Hi,
>
> I think about using lisp for a new project (purely non-commericial).
> There is a need for a GUI (Buttons, Listboxes, scrollbars, grahical
> output, ...) and it should run under Win32 (NT / XP / 2000) and
> Linux.

You could try LispWorks from Xanalys. IIRC is there cross-platform
GUI-stuff (CAPI) part of the free Version. It works on Windows and
Linux and according to their homepage other Unices too.

>
> My question: is there a free (or very cheap) lisp implementation which
> either has a build-in GUI or has an easy interface to Qt, GTK or
> something similar that runs under Linux and Win32.

CAPI, CLIM should do the job...

>
> (If not I have to do the programming in C++, but maybe I could run
> some subporcesses in Lisp which will do the logical operations. Is
> this possible ?)

Of course you can intermix languages how to do that depends on the
implementation you're using.

Regards
Friedrich

Sam Steingold

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Jan 16, 2002, 12:46:34 PM1/16/02
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> * In message <3c45a9c4...@news.highway.telekom.at>
> * On the subject of "Free Lisp with GUI"
> * Sent on Wed, 16 Jan 2002 16:32:23 GMT

> * Honorable jmur...@acm.org (Johann Murauer) writes:
>
> (If not I have to do the programming in C++, but maybe I could run
> some subporcesses in Lisp which will do the logical operations. Is
> this possible ?)

you can use a browser as the front-end GUI.

--
Sam Steingold (http://www.podval.org/~sds)
Keep Jerusalem united! <http://www.onejerusalem.org/Petition.asp>
Read, think and remember! <http://www.iris.org.il> <http://www.memri.org/>
You can have it good, soon or cheap. Pick two...

Frederic Brunel

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Jan 16, 2002, 12:53:24 PM1/16/02
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Friedrich Dominicus <fr...@q-software-solutions.com> writes:

> > I think about using lisp for a new project (purely non-commericial).
> > There is a need for a GUI (Buttons, Listboxes, scrollbars, grahical
> > output, ...) and it should run under Win32 (NT / XP / 2000) and
> > Linux.
> You could try LispWorks from Xanalys. IIRC is there cross-platform
> GUI-stuff (CAPI) part of the free Version. It works on Windows and
> Linux and according to their homepage other Unices too.

I think LispWorks is far from being free!

--
Frederic Brunel
Software Engineer
In-Fusio, The Mobile Fun Connection

Thaddeus L Olczyk

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Jan 16, 2002, 1:01:17 PM1/16/02
to
On 16 Jan 2002 17:55:06 +0100, Friedrich Dominicus
<fr...@q-software-solutions.com> wrote:

>> I think about using lisp for a new project (purely non-commericial).
>> There is a need for a GUI (Buttons, Listboxes, scrollbars, grahical
>> output, ...) and it should run under Win32 (NT / XP / 2000) and
>> Linux.
>You could try LispWorks from Xanalys. IIRC is there cross-platform
>GUI-stuff (CAPI) part of the free Version. It works on Windows and
>Linux and according to their homepage other Unices too.

You should ask why they want a free lisp.
If they want something for delivering open source and free software
then both Franz and LispWorks are not really useful.
You generally distribute your code as both source and executables.
( Do you really want the user to download Xanalys and compile your
address book? )
Producing freely distributed executables with both is ( my
understanding ) highly problematic.

Jim Bushnell

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Jan 16, 2002, 1:01:10 PM1/16/02
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The personal edition of LispWorks is indeed free (download from
www.xanalys.com) but is limited in its capabilities (heap size, no
stand-alone delivery, etc., but the CAPI GUIS is included).

Jim Bushnell

"Frederic Brunel" <frede...@in-fusio.com> wrote in message
news:laofju5...@buzz.in-fusio.com...

Jonathan Craven

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Jan 16, 2002, 4:03:55 PM1/16/02
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The easiest way I've found to do this with Common Lisp (not being a
guru by any means) is with Tcl/Tk via the lisp2wish file of Matthias
Lindner (c): <http://ww.telent.net/cliki/Graphics%20Toolkit>. You can
use whatever implementation you want and all your program logic can
stay in Lisp.

I even made a little sourceforge project demonstrating it in action:
<https://sourceforge.net/projects/clslideshow/>, a slideshow program
for gif and jpeg files, but it only works in Linux/Unix right now
because I didn't bother using portable pathnames.

So that's a very easy way to do it that I don't think get's enough
mention, especially if you're on Linux where wish is commonly already
installed, but your project may of course have needs that require a
different solution.

-Jon

(switch "at" and first period to mail me)


Friedrich Dominicus

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Jan 17, 2002, 1:59:37 AM1/17/02
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olc...@interaccess.com (Thaddeus L Olczyk) writes:

> On 16 Jan 2002 17:55:06 +0100, Friedrich Dominicus
> <fr...@q-software-solutions.com> wrote:
>
> >> I think about using lisp for a new project (purely non-commericial).
> >> There is a need for a GUI (Buttons, Listboxes, scrollbars, grahical
> >> output, ...) and it should run under Win32 (NT / XP / 2000) and
> >> Linux.
> >You could try LispWorks from Xanalys. IIRC is there cross-platform
> >GUI-stuff (CAPI) part of the free Version. It works on Windows and
> >Linux and according to their homepage other Unices too.
> You should ask why they want a free lisp.
> If they want something for delivering open source and free software
> then both Franz and LispWorks are not really useful.

Well you can write you own open source with it can't you?

> You generally distribute your code as both source and executables.
> ( Do you really want the user to download Xanalys and compile your
> address book? )

Do you really want the user to download Perl to run your address book?

> Producing freely distributed executables with both is ( my
> understanding ) highly problematic.

Higly problematic, I doubt it very much. At least LispWorks is used
for there whole "intelligence" Software and that are all stand-alone
applications. So it should not be very hard to get it done.

Regards
Friedrich

Tim Bradshaw

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Jan 17, 2002, 4:43:31 AM1/17/02
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olc...@interaccess.com (Thaddeus L Olczyk) wrote in message news:<3c46bd41...@nntp.interaccess.com>...

> Producing freely distributed executables with both is ( my
> understanding ) highly problematic.

For LispWorks at least this is not so for Windows and Linux: you can
generate freely distributable executables for both these platforms
from the commercial product (possibly with some constraints - there
may be stuff like CORBA or something you can't include). I think
there are royalties for the Unix platforms.

--tim

Jochen Schmidt

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Jan 17, 2002, 6:19:14 AM1/17/02
to

As far as I understand the new license-terms for LW4.2 (Windows and
Linux) you can include modules like CORBA, CommonSQL, or KnowledgeWorks
without paying royalities.

ciao,
Jochen


Thaddeus L Olczyk

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Jan 17, 2002, 6:03:53 AM1/17/02
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On 17 Jan 2002 01:43:31 -0800, tfb+g...@tfeb.org (Tim Bradshaw)
wrote:

Well we begin with the subject-- the person was asking for *free*
lisps. But lets just stop for a moment and assume that a person was
willing to pay something.

Remember this is stuff that the person would like to give away ( it
was clipped but I did say open source/free ). He wants it on both
Windows and Linux ( and possibly other UNICES ) . That's $1800
out of his pocket. Compare that to perl, python, ruby,gcc etc where
you pay nothing.

The upshot of this is that a person who wants to write something and
make it open source ( say he wants to write somethng that finds and
indexs all his mp3s, since he goes to that trouble to write it for
himself, he would like to make it open source ) is better off not
using Lisp. This leads to the idea that Lisp is not used much for
development.


Siegfried Gonzi

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Jan 17, 2002, 6:27:22 AM1/17/02
to
Thaddeus L Olczyk wrote:

> Remember this is stuff that the person would like to give away ( it
> was clipped but I did say open source/free ). He wants it on both
> Windows and Linux ( and possibly other UNICES ) . That's $1800
> out of his pocket. Compare that to perl, python, ruby,gcc etc where
> you pay nothing.
>
> The upshot of this is that a person who wants to write something and
> make it open source ( say he wants to write somethng that finds and
> indexs all his mp3s, since he goes to that trouble to write it for
> himself, he would like to make it open source ) is better off not
> using Lisp. This leads to the idea that Lisp is not used much for
> development.

If the project is not time critical CormanLisp would be a good alternative. As far as I am informed CormanLisp is
Shareware and therefore affordable. But I am not sure how stable CormanLisp actually is.

Otherwise, I do not think that it is the fault (yes, yes you did not say it) of the vendors that there are not
more "sophisticated" Lisp implementations out there.

But I agree with you that Python/Perl/Ruby is lurking. But otherwise (exept for all the GUI stuff) Lisp has got a
good tradition for source-code only; if I can load a file (in the hope without any error messages -- which quite
often does not happen) and compile and use the functions everything will be okay. It is not comparable to a
stand-alone image but every day millions of people are doing actually this in: Matlab, IDL, Yorick,
Mathematica,...


S. Gonzi


Dr. Edmund Weitz

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Jan 17, 2002, 6:56:44 AM1/17/02
to
olc...@interaccess.com (Thaddeus L Olczyk) writes:

> The upshot of this is that a person who wants to write something and
> make it open source ( say he wants to write somethng that finds and
> indexs all his mp3s, since he goes to that trouble to write it for
> himself, he would like to make it open source ) is better off not
> using Lisp. This leads to the idea that Lisp is not used much for
> development.

My feet! Lots of open-source software is written in Perl, Tcl/Tk,
Python, PHP or other scripting languages where the user of the program
will have to install the interpreter to be able to use it. You can do
the same thing with Common Lisp if you use one of the free (!)
implementations like CMUCL, SBCL, ECL, OpenMCL, or CLISP. With CLISP
alone you will be able to cover most Unix platforms (including Mac OS
X), Linux, Windows, and even Amiga OS IIRC.

Most Linux distributions will install Perl by default, but you'll
usually have to install something like Python or Tcl/Tk yourself,
probably from an RPM that comes with the distro. It's just as easy to
install CLISP nowadays, it's part of SuSE, Mandrake, Debian, and
probably a couple of other distros. On other platforms like, say,
Windows or Solaris, I can see no difference between Perl and CLISP:
You'll have to download and install it before you can use the fabulous
open-source program that was written in that language.

Now, if you complain about not being able to create stand-alone
executables with Perl, you either have to do it yourself or bother
Larry Wall until he does it. You'll probably have to pay someone to do
it for you. With Common Lisp that's easier: You can just buy LispWorks
or AllegroCL and create a stand-alone executable from the same source
code that ran with CLISP or CMUCL (provided it's ANSI compliant).

Edi.

Francois-Rene Rideau

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Jan 17, 2002, 8:27:27 AM1/17/02
to
jmur...@acm.org (Johann Murauer) writes:
> My question: is there a free (or very cheap) lisp implementation which
> either has a build-in GUI or has an easy interface to Qt, GTK or
> something similar that runs under Linux and Win32.
If Scheme counts as a LISP, then MzScheme, STk, and possibly other
implementations (bigloo? MIT-Scheme?) have portable GUIs that work
accross platforms (Linux, Win32, and perhaps also MacOS for some of them).

Yours freely,

[ François-René ÐVB Rideau | Reflection&Cybernethics | http://fare.tunes.org ]
[ TUNES project for a Free Reflective Computing System | http://tunes.org ]
Tradition is the matter of which civilization is made.
Anyone who rejects tradition per se should be left naked in a desert island.
Innovation is the matter with which civilization is built.
Anyone who rejects innovation per se should be left naked in a desert island.

Friedrich Dominicus

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Jan 17, 2002, 8:40:06 AM1/17/02
to
olc...@interaccess.com (Thaddeus L Olczyk) writes:

>
> Remember this is stuff that the person would like to give away ( it
> was clipped but I did say open source/free ). He wants it on both
> Windows and Linux ( and possibly other UNICES ) . That's $1800
> out of his pocket. Compare that to perl, python, ruby,gcc etc where
> you pay nothing.

Well he could use CMUCL couldn't he or CLISP or. Well he want to use a
cross-platform GUI-Toolkit. Well there is not much available for the
free Lisps, but it's part of the free verson of LispWorks. So he could
use the free version and distribute his code for free. If people want
to have it than they have to install LispWorks on their own. I can't
see why this should be more tedious than to install either python,
perl, ruby, gcc on Windows. Where's the difference? Why is it ok to
install everything else but a Lisp?


>
> The upshot of this is that a person who wants to write something and
> make it open source ( say he wants to write somethng that finds and
> indexs all his mp3s, since he goes to that trouble to write it for
> himself, he would like to make it open source ) is better off not
> using Lisp.

Nonsense, as pointed out below. You can distribute as much
code written by you as you like -- from any langauge. Well you own
VCC++ (fine you can write your code with it). Well you have to pay for
VCC++ too but obviously it is unimportant for most of the people, the
buy that stuff on Windows and are not using GCC. Well again why
shouldn't they do the same with Lisp?

Friedrich

Friedrich Dominicus

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Jan 17, 2002, 9:00:25 AM1/17/02
to
olc...@interaccess.com (Thaddeus L Olczyk) writes:

>
> Remember this is stuff that the person would like to give away ( it
> was clipped but I did say open source/free ). He wants it on both
> Windows and Linux ( and possibly other UNICES ) . That's $1800
> out of his pocket. Compare that to perl, python, ruby,gcc etc where
> you pay nothing.

Well he could use CMUCL couldn't he? Or CLISP or. Well he want to use a


cross-platform GUI-Toolkit. Well there is not much available for the
free Lisps, but it's part of the free verson of LispWorks. So he could
use the free version and distribute his code for free. If people want
to have it than they have to install LispWorks on their own. I can't
see why this should be more tedious than to install either python,
perl, ruby, gcc on Windows. Where's the difference? Why is it ok to
install everything else but a Lisp?
>

> The upshot of this is that a person who wants to write something and
> make it open source ( say he wants to write somethng that finds and
> indexs all his mp3s, since he goes to that trouble to write it for
> himself, he would like to make it open source ) is better off not
> using Lisp.

Well I really dislike such comments You can distribute as much
code written by you as you like -- from any language. If you own
VCC++, you have paid for it but obviously it is unimportant for most
of the people, they

buy that stuff on Windows and are not using GCC. Well again why

shouldn't they do the same with Lisp? Why is installing all
stuff. According to you it's ok to install Python, Ruby. But why not
the personal edition from LispWorks? I guess CAPI is at least as good
as any of the cross-platform toolkits for Python. But hey what a deal
it's not free..


Friedrich

Harvey J. Stein

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Jan 17, 2002, 9:57:14 AM1/17/02
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jmur...@acm.org (Johann Murauer) writes:

> I think about using lisp for a new project (purely non-commericial).
> There is a need for a GUI (Buttons, Listboxes, scrollbars, grahical
> output, ...) and it should run under Win32 (NT / XP / 2000) and Linux.
>
> My question: is there a free (or very cheap) lisp implementation which
> either has a build-in GUI or has an easy interface to Qt, GTK or
> something similar that runs under Linux and Win32.

gcl has a Tk & I think a GTk interface.

--
Harvey Stein
Bloomberg LP
hjs...@bloomberg.com

Jonathan Craven

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Jan 17, 2002, 12:13:09 PM1/17/02
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hjs...@bloomberg.com (Harvey J. Stein) writes:

> jmur...@acm.org (Johann Murauer) writes:
>
> gcl has a Tk & I think a GTk interface.

But again, with the lisp2wish idea I mentioned above you don't really
NEED an implementation-specific interface (besides which last time I
checked gcl-tk was broken with newer Tk versions). It's quite easy to
get used to:

(format *wish*
"button .b1 -text {Click me} -command {puts lisp-foo}~%")

which would then run the function lisp-foo when clicked. (It's
criminal how little Tcl you actually have to learn to make your GUI.)
Or to wrap the thing up with something general like:

(defun make-button (name &optional callback &key (frame ".f1"))
"Sends a button constructor to wish, callback MUST be specified if
name is more than one word."
(when (null callback)
(setq callback name))
(format *wish*
"button ~a.b~A -text {~A} -command {set timedShow 0;puts ~A}~%"
frame callback name callback)
(format *wish* "pack ~a.b~a -side left~%" frame callback))

And I'm quite the newbie, again, so that may be a crude way to do it,
but if it works even for newbies, then that's a selling point. The
bigger selling point is you can use CLISP, CMUCL, Allegro, and
probably every other implementation as well since you're just sending
text to the windowing shell via FORMAT. And Tk exists on multiple
platforms as well and I think looks quite nice.

I suppose for a major project going this way would perhaps involve
re-inventing the wheel on things that CLIM already has implemented,
but in my small experience, if all you have in mind is putting up a
simple, nice GUI for your program it's the easiest way to do it.

-JC

<http://ww.telent.net/cliki/Graphics%20Toolkit> -- Lisp2wish.lisp
<https://sourceforge.net/projects/clslideshow/> -- a demonstration
<http://www.scriptics.com./man/tcl8.4/> -Tcl/Tk attempt at a hyperspec

Joel Ray Holveck

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Jan 17, 2002, 10:00:50 PM1/17/02
to
> My feet! Lots of open-source software is written in Perl, Tcl/Tk,
> Python, PHP or other scripting languages where the user of the program
> will have to install the interpreter to be able to use it. You can do
> the same thing with Common Lisp if you use one of the free (!)
> implementations like CMUCL, SBCL, ECL, OpenMCL, or CLISP. With CLISP
> alone you will be able to cover most Unix platforms (including Mac OS
> X), Linux, Windows, and even Amiga OS IIRC.

To be fair, most Lisp apps are not very easy for somebody to install
if they don't know what they're doing. Lisp delivery of small apps
still is something of a problem.

joelh

Rahul Jain

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Jan 17, 2002, 11:16:03 PM1/17/02
to
Joel Ray Holveck <jo...@juniper.net> writes:

> To be fair, most Lisp apps are not very easy for somebody to install
> if they don't know what they're doing. Lisp delivery of small apps
> still is something of a problem.

Unless, of course, they use debian. :)

Now, instead of others complaining that common-lisp-controller only
works in debian, I think it might be better if someone actually made
c-l-c packages for other systems. Preferably systems they actually
use. That way you don't get debian users trying to make RPM packages
when they only installed Redhat to make these packages.

To summarize, PLEASE help port common-lisp-controller to platforms
other than debian. Redhat, Windows, and FreeBSD would be a good start.

--
-> -/- - Rahul Jain - -\- <-
-> -\- http://linux.rice.edu/~rahul -=- mailto:rj...@techie.com -/- <-
-> -/- "I never could get the hang of Thursdays." - HHGTTG by DNA -\- <-
|--|--------|--------------|----|-------------|------|---------|-----|-|
Version 11.423.999.221020101.23.50110101.042
(c)1996-2002, All rights reserved. Disclaimer available upon request.

Christopher Stacy

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Jan 18, 2002, 1:38:31 AM1/18/02
to
>>>>> On 17 Jan 2002 19:00:50 -0800, Joel Ray Holveck ("Joel") writes:
Joel> To be fair, most Lisp apps are not very easy for somebody to install
Joel> if they don't know what they're doing. Lisp delivery of small apps
Joel> still is something of a problem.

The last time I wanted to deliver a small Lisp app to someone (on Windows),
I simply emailed them a zip file containing the exectuable. (The zip file
also included a source directory, for reference, but they didn't have any
Lisp compiler available to them or anything.) To run the app, they clicked
on the email attachment, ran Winzip on it, and then clicked on app.EXE file.

What's the problem?

Florian Weimer

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Jan 18, 2002, 2:32:55 AM1/18/02
to
Christopher Stacy <cst...@swingandcircle.com> writes:

> The last time I wanted to deliver a small Lisp app to someone (on Windows),
> I simply emailed them a zip file containing the exectuable. (The zip file
> also included a source directory, for reference, but they didn't have any
> Lisp compiler available to them or anything.) To run the app, they clicked
> on the email attachment, ran Winzip on it, and then clicked on app.EXE file.
>
> What's the problem?

The free CL implementations do not support creating small executables,
I think.

Harvey J. Stein

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Jan 18, 2002, 9:11:54 AM1/18/02
to
Jonathan Craven <jona...@craven.mail.mcgill.ca> writes:

> hjs...@bloomberg.com (Harvey J. Stein) writes:
>
> > jmur...@acm.org (Johann Murauer) writes:
> >
> > gcl has a Tk & I think a GTk interface.
>
> But again, with the lisp2wish idea I mentioned above you don't really
> NEED an implementation-specific interface (besides which last time I
> checked gcl-tk was broken with newer Tk versions). It's quite easy to
> get used to:
>
> (format *wish*
> "button .b1 -text {Click me} -command {puts lisp-foo}~%")

That's a low level interface. The lisps with graphics toolkits
integrated usually have a higher level, more lispish interface. In
STk you'd have:

(define b (make <button>
:text "Click me"
:action (lambda () (do-something in lisp environment))))

etc.

Marco Antoniotti

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Jan 18, 2002, 9:31:24 AM1/18/02
to

Rahul Jain <rj...@sid-1129.sid.rice.edu> writes:

> Joel Ray Holveck <jo...@juniper.net> writes:
>
> > To be fair, most Lisp apps are not very easy for somebody to install
> > if they don't know what they're doing. Lisp delivery of small apps
> > still is something of a problem.
>
> Unless, of course, they use debian. :)
>
> Now, instead of others complaining that common-lisp-controller only
> works in debian, I think it might be better if someone actually made
> c-l-c packages for other systems. Preferably systems they actually
> use. That way you don't get debian users trying to make RPM packages
> when they only installed Redhat to make these packages.
>
> To summarize, PLEASE help port common-lisp-controller to platforms
> other than debian. Redhat, Windows, and FreeBSD would be a good
> start.

For a CL only solution you can look at CL.CONFIGURATION (pardon the
shameless plug). It works in any CL under any OS (or it makes
provisions to) and makes installing a new package as easy as

cl-prompt> (load "package.conf")
#p"package.conf"
cl-prompt> (conf:setup "THE-PACKAGE")
"THE-PACKAGE"
cl-prompt> (mk:load-system "THE-PACKAGE")

Also, the intention is not to be limited to MK:DEFSYSTEM for the last
line.

Cheers

--
Marco Antoniotti ========================================================
NYU Courant Bioinformatics Group tel. +1 - 212 - 998 3488
719 Broadway 12th Floor fax +1 - 212 - 995 4122
New York, NY 10003, USA http://bioinformatics.cat.nyu.edu
"Hello New York! We'll do what we can!"
Bill Murray in `Ghostbusters'.

Marco Antoniotti

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Jan 18, 2002, 9:41:43 AM1/18/02
to

CL.CONFIGURATION can be found in the CLOCC.

Tim Bradshaw

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Jan 18, 2002, 12:52:20 PM1/18/02
to
* Thaddeus L Olczyk wrote:

> Remember this is stuff that the person would like to give away ( it
> was clipped but I did say open source/free ). He wants it on both
> Windows and Linux ( and possibly other UNICES ) . That's $1800
> out of his pocket. Compare that to perl, python, ruby,gcc etc where
> you pay nothing.

I was just correcting the error in the post.

Siegfried Gonzi

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Jan 19, 2002, 4:14:47 AM1/19/02
to
Tim Bradshaw wrote:

Does anybody know what Allegro Common Lisp actually costs (single user
license)? On slashdot I read something like: 60.000.- USD*. The poster
then has been corrected to 6.000.- USD. But even this sounds a little bit
way too high? Maybe this are the prices for a server-license?

I think the LispWorks prices are okay.


S. Gonzi
[I do not have got the ID number of the post; but I red it a few days
ago]


Friedrich Dominicus

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Jan 19, 2002, 7:32:32 AM1/19/02
to
Siegfried Gonzi <siegfri...@kfunigraz.ac.at> writes:

>
> Does anybody know what Allegro Common Lisp actually costs (single user
> license)? On slashdot I read something like: 60.000.- USD*. The poster
> then has been corrected to 6.000.- USD. But even this sounds a little bit
> way too high? Maybe this are the prices for a server-license?

Why don't you ask Franz directly. They know better than anyoine else.


>
> I think the LispWorks prices are okay.

Well than buy LispWorks ;-)

Regards
Friedrich

Software Scavenger

unread,
Jan 19, 2002, 1:07:42 PM1/19/02
to
Siegfried Gonzi <siegfri...@kfunigraz.ac.at> wrote in message news:<3C493907...@kfunigraz.ac.at>...

> Does anybody know what Allegro Common Lisp actually costs (single user

When comparing prices of brands of Lisp, I would look at other factors
besides just the up-front price. I would especially want to know
which of the following would violate the terms of the license:

1. Buy it for my home computer and install it on my laptop too.
2. Release shareware and/or freeware executables.
3. Do demonstration projects on my own time to try to convince my
employer to use Lisp for future projects. (Could that be construed
as sharing the license illegally with my employer?)

Does anyone know the answers to the above for the major commercial
brands of Lisp such as Lispworks and Allegro? Or could someone post
the license text so it could be analyzed in the forum?

I think lack of knowledge of such issues might be one factor in why
Lisp is not used more than it is. People probably assume the license
terms are draconian, because the major Lisp vendors have a reputation
of not being very grassroots friendly. That reputation might actually
be the single biggest factor in keeping Lisp relatively obscure,
regardless of how closely the reputation matches reality.

Brian P Templeton

unread,
Jan 19, 2002, 2:57:15 PM1/19/02
to
Francois-Rene Rideau <fa...@tunes.org> writes:

> jmur...@acm.org (Johann Murauer) writes:
>> My question: is there a free (or very cheap) lisp implementation which
>> either has a build-in GUI or has an easy interface to Qt, GTK or
>> something similar that runs under Linux and Win32.
> If Scheme counts as a LISP, then MzScheme, STk, and possibly other
> implementations (bigloo? MIT-Scheme?) have portable GUIs that work
> accross platforms (Linux, Win32, and perhaps also MacOS for some of them).
>

Yes, but do they work across implementations? (which would normally
ensure portability)

> Yours freely,
>
> [ François-René ÐVB Rideau | Reflection&Cybernethics | http://fare.tunes.org ]
> [ TUNES project for a Free Reflective Computing System | http://tunes.org ]
> Tradition is the matter of which civilization is made.
> Anyone who rejects tradition per se should be left naked in a desert island.
> Innovation is the matter with which civilization is built.
> Anyone who rejects innovation per se should be left naked in a desert island.

--
BPT <b...@tunes.org> /"\ ASCII Ribbon Campaign
backronym for Linux: \ / No HTML or RTF in mail
Linux Is Not Unix X No MS-Word in mail
Meme plague ;) ---------> / \ Respect Open Standards

Thaddeus L Olczyk

unread,
Jan 19, 2002, 3:47:59 PM1/19/02
to
On Sat, 19 Jan 2002 10:14:47 +0100, Siegfried Gonzi
<siegfri...@kfunigraz.ac.at> wrote:

>
>Does anybody know what Allegro Common Lisp actually costs (single user
>license)? On slashdot I read something like: 60.000.- USD*. The poster
>then has been corrected to 6.000.- USD. But even this sounds a little bit
>way too high? Maybe this are the prices for a server-license?

I could not find prices on the web page. To me this is extraordinary
dumb. ( The reason that I don't use QNX is that they don't display
prices. ) It indicates that the prices are so onerous that they don't
dare put them on the site, and that they want you to engage ( like
two bucks engage in battle and wind up with there horns all tangled
together, hard to split up ) a salesperson who will try to convince
you against your better judgement to shell out big bucks, or charge
what the market will bear.

I don't see how the situation helps them at all.

Christopher Browne

unread,
Jan 19, 2002, 4:16:52 PM1/19/02
to
olc...@interaccess.com (Thaddeus L Olczyk) writes:

It's a somewhat painful dilemma that is all too common.

-> If they publicize too-high prices on the web, that'll scare people
away that they might ultimately negotiate better pricing for.
(After all, while 1 copy might appropriately cost a bundle, an
organization buying 50 copies is worth dickering with.)

-> Does Franz want to deal with people not willing to pay a fairly
big price up front? Possibly not...

I seriously doubt that they are interested in the sort of dilution
of revenues that would result from pushing product through third
party channels. (Consider: It would be rather surprising if Red
Hat Software gets significantly more than $15 when a box with a $50
pricetag gets sold at CompUSA...)

Consider:

"Unless you're on the Forbes' richest 100 list, you're not a market,
just another photon in the rainbow."
-- Monty Brandenberg <mcb...@ne.mediaone.net>

This certainly doesn't apply _directly_ to companies like Franz, but
it still is suggestive of the sound principle: If you're not dropping
a reasonably important chunk of change into their lap, you're not of
economic importance.

From some perspectives, $6K USD isn't very much. I believe that the
guys at Imperial Software, of "Motif GUI Builder" fame used to charge
around $50K _per user_ for their software. (No royalty fees after
that, mind you... THERE would be insult to add to injury!)

But in short it's not obvious that cutting prices would be in Franz's
interests. It's not obvious at all.

- If they have customers ready to balk at high prices, and go
elsewhere, _THAT_ would be a good reason to cut prices.

- If they figured that by cutting the price in 6, that they would
gain 6x as many customers, _THAT_ would be a good reason to cut
prices to 1/6 the present levels. (If the number is $6k, that would
drop it to $1K, which would _still_ be daunting to anybody sitting
at the low end of the "price preference" scale.) But it is not at
all obvious that this would happen.

I might _wish_ that I could buy ACL for $200; I might even hold
tenaciously to a refusal to pay more than that. For the time being,
that's liable to lead to them not selling me a copy of ACL, and my not
paying them $200 for it. :-).
--
(concatenate 'string "aa454" "@freenet.carleton.ca")
http://www3.sympatico.ca/cbbrowne/spreadsheets.html
/"\
\ / ASCII RIBBON CAMPAIGN
X AGAINST HTML MAIL
/ \

Greg Menke

unread,
Jan 19, 2002, 6:21:15 PM1/19/02
to

>
> -> Does Franz want to deal with people not willing to pay a fairly
> big price up front? Possibly not...
>
> I seriously doubt that they are interested in the sort of dilution
> of revenues that would result from pushing product through third
> party channels. (Consider: It would be rather surprising if Red
> Hat Software gets significantly more than $15 when a box with a $50
> pricetag gets sold at CompUSA...)
>


When I sat down to buy a Linux based commercial Lisp, I tried Franz
first; mostly because I recognized the name from ages ago. I
contacted their sales people, who gave me a local distributor to
contact, which I did. I never heard from Franz, or the distributor
again.

So, after a couple weeks, I got annoyed and looked again at Lispworks.
Xanalys has prices on their webpage and we were able to just go ahead
and buy a copy of Lispworks with no fuss or game playing. Just
recently we purchased the 4.2 upgrade and if I ever get a budget
again, we'll buy a copy of Lispworks Enterprise.

Perhaps Franz has a business arrangement where dealing with
individuals isn't profitable and they get their money out of some few
huge customers, but I wonder how many sales they end up losing just
from making it hard for people to give them money.

Gregm

Marc Spitzer

unread,
Jan 19, 2002, 7:10:04 PM1/19/02
to

Well I also had some oddities with Franz's pricing. I had a project to
do that I wanted to use to, among other things learn CL with. I
called Franz and asked them how much a developer license and about a
dozen runtimes would cost. I never got a quote and when I spoke to
them on the phone, it was a presales engineer if I remember correctly,
I got the distinct impression that Franz was in the "wife business"
and not the "whore business", perhaps that was a poor choice of words
let me explain:

Wife business = I am in all of your business and I get half of your
stuff if we break off our arrangement.

Whore business = I pay for service, you deliver the service and you
leave. If I want/need more service I pay for it. Basically a
professional relationship.

And there was no way I would get anything that looked like a wife
through my boss to go to the lawyers.

I have no issue with Franz, it is there product and they can do
what they want with it and that includes pricing.

marc

Thomas F. Burdick

unread,
Jan 19, 2002, 8:45:46 PM1/19/02
to
olc...@interaccess.com (Thaddeus L Olczyk) writes:

> On 17 Jan 2002 01:43:31 -0800, tfb+g...@tfeb.org (Tim Bradshaw)
> wrote:
>
> >olc...@interaccess.com (Thaddeus L Olczyk) wrote in message news:<3c46bd41...@nntp.interaccess.com>...
> >
> >> Producing freely distributed executables with both is ( my
> >> understanding ) highly problematic.
> >
> >For LispWorks at least this is not so for Windows and Linux: you can
> >generate freely distributable executables for both these platforms
> >from the commercial product (possibly with some constraints - there
> >may be stuff like CORBA or something you can't include). I think
> >there are royalties for the Unix platforms.
> >
> >--tim

> Well we begin with the subject-- the person was asking for *free*
> lisps. But lets just stop for a moment and assume that a person was
> willing to pay something.

Actually, the OP *was* willing to pay something "reasonable". Why do
you post shit like this?

> Remember this is stuff that the person would like to give away ( it
> was clipped but I did say open source/free ).

Yeah, and on Windows, this costs money. Like everything on Windows.
This is *not* a language issue. $1800 ain't cheap, but you get a lot
for them 1800. There's also Corman Lisp, which is cheap. Oh, wait,
the OP wants this on Linux *and* Windows? Fine, use CMUCL on Linux.
But extra-language libraries is gonna be a bit of a pain. That's
always the case with Unix-Windows portability.

--
/|_ .-----------------------.
,' .\ / | No to Imperialist war |
,--' _,' | Wage class war! |
/ / `-----------------------'
( -. |
| ) |
(`-. '--.)
`. )----'

Bijan Parsia

unread,
Jan 19, 2002, 9:11:04 PM1/19/02
to
On 19 Jan 2002, Christopher Browne wrote:

[snip]


> - If they have customers ready to balk at high prices, and go
> elsewhere, _THAT_ would be a good reason to cut prices.
>
> - If they figured that by cutting the price in 6, that they would
> gain 6x as many customers, _THAT_ would be a good reason to cut
> prices to 1/6 the present levels.

Actually, probably not. 6x the customers/sales can mean much more than 6x
the overhead (support, etc.). Plus, 6x the customers might mean quite a
bit less than 6x sales.

Over on comp.lang.smalltalk, the Cincom smalltalk product manager gave a
pretty brutal breakdown of their pricing dilemmas. It was
horrid. (Cincom's pricing tactis are much like Franz's, FWIW. VisualWorks,
their flagship Smalltalk, almost died at its prior company with a more
"acceptible" pricing model.)

> (If the number is $6k, that would
> drop it to $1K, which would _still_ be daunting to anybody sitting
> at the low end of the "price preference" scale.)

So you end up with the worst of both: No money, lots of people to support,
and all the complainers still complaining :)

> But it is not at
> all obvious that this would happen.

Yes, then *really* no money, more people to support, all the old
complainers complaining, and everyone else complaining that sucky Franz
management drove the company and the system into the dirt. woo hoo :)

> I might _wish_ that I could buy ACL for $200; I might even hold
> tenaciously to a refusal to pay more than that. For the time being,
> that's liable to lead to them not selling me a copy of ACL, and my not
> paying them $200 for it. :-).

One thing I've wondered aloud at over in c.l.smalltalk was if there was a
reasonable small developer sweet spot that wouldn't be too much
trouble. CodeWarrior had education pricing limitied to freeware and
shareware products. I can see a hobbyist market being a useful thing for
many implementers. Not sure about the super high end guys though...I mean,
would it help Franz to have a bazillion little hackers peddling Allegro
bases microutilities? Maybe, maybe not :)

Aside from shareware, there are quite a few of small time developers. One
fellow over on comp.lang.smalltalk develops medical billing software for
doctors (very specialized). He may have 10 customers and not a *huge*
amount of revenue. Langauges like common lisp or smalltalk can be ideal
for such one person, but tricky jobs. They *are* marginal operations,
though.

The trick is whether the price can be made worth it for Franz without
pissing off their real customers.

Cheers,
Bijan Parsia.

Siegfried Gonzi

unread,
Jan 20, 2002, 5:55:41 AM1/20/02
to
Bijan Parsia wrote:

> One thing I've wondered aloud at over in c.l.smalltalk was if there was a
> reasonable small developer sweet spot that wouldn't be too much
> trouble. CodeWarrior had education pricing limitied to freeware and
> shareware products.

For the Mac one can also buy Macintosh Common Lisp for a student price of
about USD 100.- (or therelike). I think he then gets the full version but
support and printed-manuals.

Normally every software vendor sells at least a low cost version of their
products. They sell it and nothing more, because a low cost version does not
include service/hotline/support. I would say it is not too much work for the
software vendor to sell a low cost copy to a student or individual.


The chicken egg problem: if Common Lisp is really that great concerning the
productivity of a programmer or development team why then should one pay
overgenerous prices for a hotline/support which should not happen very often;
otherwise: how can one beeing sure -beforehand- that the high single license
prices are worth the money and that a call for support will be not required
too often (due to the productivity of Lisp)?

But I have to mention that I do believe that it is not the fault of the
vendors that there are not more high quality Lisp versions for the PC platform
out there.


S. Gonzi

Lieven Marchand

unread,
Jan 19, 2002, 4:20:54 PM1/19/02
to
cubic...@mailandnews.com (Software Scavenger) writes:

> Siegfried Gonzi <siegfri...@kfunigraz.ac.at> wrote in message news:<3C493907...@kfunigraz.ac.at>...
>
> > Does anybody know what Allegro Common Lisp actually costs (single user
>
> When comparing prices of brands of Lisp, I would look at other factors
> besides just the up-front price. I would especially want to know
> which of the following would violate the terms of the license:
>
> 1. Buy it for my home computer and install it on my laptop too.
> 2. Release shareware and/or freeware executables.
> 3. Do demonstration projects on my own time to try to convince my
> employer to use Lisp for future projects. (Could that be construed
> as sharing the license illegally with my employer?)
>
> Does anyone know the answers to the above for the major commercial
> brands of Lisp such as Lispworks and Allegro? Or could someone post
> the license text so it could be analyzed in the forum?
>

You can get the license text for Xanalys Lispworks from the Personal
Edition. I'm not a lawyer and I do not speak for Xanalys but these are
quotes from the license text.

1. You may use the Software only on a single computer at a time.

2. Distribution of Runtimes. You may distribute Runtimes solely to
end-users as part of an application developed using the Software
("Application"), except that you may not distribute any part of the
Software as a general purpose Lisp development tool. Any Runtimes
distributed as part of the Application will continue to be subject to
the terms and conditions of this Agreement. You agree to license the
Application to your customers under a written license agreement
containing terms and conditions with regard to the Software and Runtimes
that are at least as restrictive as those contained herein.

For (3) I think you're OK as long as you abide by the rules stipulated
in 2.

--
Lieven Marchand <m...@wyrd.be>
She says, "Honey, you're a Bastard of great proportion."
He says, "Darling, I plead guilty to that sin."
Cowboy Junkies -- A few simple words

Tim Bradshaw

unread,
Jan 20, 2002, 10:41:44 AM1/20/02
to
* Greg Menke wrote:

> Perhaps Franz has a business arrangement where dealing with
> individuals isn't profitable and they get their money out of some few
> huge customers, but I wonder how many sales they end up losing just
> from making it hard for people to give them money.

In Franz's defense (I am not a Franz customer), they did, some years
ago, sell a cheap (~ $1000 or maybe much less) Lisp for PCs (this was
pre linux being a major platform). I presume they stopped selling it
because it wasn't profitable. There are lots of models for selling
software, and not all of them are selling large numbers of licenses at
three-digit dollar prices. Oracle got rich selling licenses at probably
two orders of magnitude more than that (MS got even richer of
course selling enormous numbers of 3-digit licenses, which just goes
to show there are lots of places to live...)

--tim

Dr. Edmund Weitz

unread,
Jan 20, 2002, 12:11:00 PM1/20/02
to
Tim Bradshaw <t...@cley.com> writes:

> Oracle got rich selling licenses at probably two orders of magnitude
> more than that

Yep, but you can download a _full_ version of Oracle to play with and
use it for development purposes without any restrictions as far as I
know. You'll only have to pay big bucks if you want to deploy your
application.

I'm not in a position to critize Franz or any other commercial Lisp
vendor, but I'm sure I'd love to have something similar from
them... :)

Edi.

Greg Menke

unread,
Jan 20, 2002, 3:04:35 PM1/20/02
to


I've heard on a couple occasions that the Franz licenses are ~$3000 US
or so- its a lot of money, but I would have been willing to plunk it
down for a good tool. Their business practices are certainly their
affair of course...

Gregm

Pierre R. Mai

unread,
Jan 20, 2002, 4:11:13 PM1/20/02
to
Tim Bradshaw <t...@cley.com> writes:

> * Greg Menke wrote:
>
> > Perhaps Franz has a business arrangement where dealing with
> > individuals isn't profitable and they get their money out of some few
> > huge customers, but I wonder how many sales they end up losing just
> > from making it hard for people to give them money.
>
> In Franz's defense (I am not a Franz customer), they did, some years
> ago, sell a cheap (~ $1000 or maybe much less) Lisp for PCs (this was
> pre linux being a major platform). I presume they stopped selling it
> because it wasn't profitable. There are lots of models for selling

FWIW the SRP of Allegro CL/PC was $995, and you could e.g. get a
discount of $200 with the voucher in the back of at least some
printings of Graham's On Lisp.

Regs, Pierre.

--
Pierre R. Mai <pm...@acm.org> http://www.pmsf.de/pmai/
The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree,
is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer professionals.
We cause accidents. -- Nathaniel Borenstein

Coby Beck

unread,
Jan 20, 2002, 5:01:20 PM1/20/02
to

"Greg Menke" <gregm...@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:m3665wg...@europa.pienet...

>
> I've heard on a couple occasions that the Franz licenses are ~$3000 US
> or so- its a lot of money, but I would have been willing to plunk it
> down for a good tool. Their business practices are certainly their
> affair of course...
>

What makes Franz difficult to justify is their runtime fee policy. They wanted
a substantial percentage when my company made all the enquiries. It was way
off the mark for a development environment and application delivery.

--
Coby
(remove #\space "coby . beck @ opentechgroup . com")


Bijan Parsia

unread,
Jan 20, 2002, 7:53:19 PM1/20/02
to
On Sun, 20 Jan 2002, Siegfried Gonzi wrote:

> Bijan Parsia wrote:
>
> > One thing I've wondered aloud at over in c.l.smalltalk was if there was a
> > reasonable small developer sweet spot that wouldn't be too much
> > trouble. CodeWarrior had education pricing limitied to freeware and
> > shareware products.
>
> For the Mac one can also buy Macintosh Common Lisp for a student price of
> about USD 100.- (or therelike). I think he then gets the full version but
> support and printed-manuals.

They may still be selling their "newstand" and "champion" editions.

*But*, they have a relatively cheap full price. The differnce between the
uber cheap and the full price is not so great.

> Normally every software vendor sells at least a low cost version of their
> products.

Well, depends on what you mean by normal. If you're small and your main
business is selling custom contracts to large corps (for the most part),
then not having a low cost version seems standard. That's working from a
sample of 3 or so :)

>They sell it and nothing more, because a low cost version does not
> include service/hotline/support. I would say it is not too much work for the
> software vendor to sell a low cost copy to a student or individual.

Well, you have to include marketing and sales handling, which might not be
too much, but also concerns from you're other customers about why the punk
kid gets it cheap.

It really seems to me doable, but I don't have access to all the details,
after all, so am hesitent to judge.

Cheers,
Bijan Parsia.

Bijan Parsia

unread,
Jan 20, 2002, 7:57:34 PM1/20/02
to
On Sun, 20 Jan 2002, Coby Beck wrote:

> "Greg Menke" <gregm...@mindspring.com> wrote in message
> news:m3665wg...@europa.pienet...
> >
> > I've heard on a couple occasions that the Franz licenses are ~$3000 US
> > or so- its a lot of money, but I would have been willing to plunk it
> > down for a good tool. Their business practices are certainly their
> > affair of course...
>
> What makes Franz difficult to justify is their runtime fee policy.
> They wanted a substantial percentage when my company made all the
> enquiries. It was way off the mark for a development environment and
> application delivery.

FWIW, this is true for VisualWorks, Cincom's flagship Smalltalk. They also
want to audit your books and other, to me, insane things :)

However, they did save VisualWorks and have a very nice Non commercial
version (download and go, no licence key or whatnot), and contribute lots
to the community (source code, conference sponsership, etc. etc.)

I'd rather them have their weird (to me) pricing and do all this other
stuff than there be no VisualWorks.

Cheers,
Bijan Parsia.

Alain Picard

unread,
Jan 21, 2002, 2:43:43 AM1/21/02
to
Lieven Marchand <m...@wyrd.be> writes:

> You can get the license text for Xanalys Lispworks from the Personal
> Edition. I'm not a lawyer and I do not speak for Xanalys but these are
> quotes from the license text.
>

> 2. Distribution of Runtimes. You may distribute Runtimes solely to

And note further that as of 4.2, runtimes no longer exist for the PC
editions of Lispworks (i.e. on Linux and Windows). They still apply
on "real" (ahem) unices.

--
It would be difficult to construe Larry Wall, in article
this as a feature. <1995May29....@netlabs.com>

Software Scavenger

unread,
Jan 21, 2002, 4:10:55 AM1/21/02
to
Bijan Parsia <bpa...@email.unc.edu> wrote in message news:<Pine.A41.4.21L1.02012...@login8.isis.unc.edu>...

> FWIW, this is true for VisualWorks, Cincom's flagship Smalltalk. They also
> want to audit your books and other, to me, insane things :)

That's their business. Meanwhile Lispworks is a great product with
very good terms. Lisp is better than Smalltalk, so there's no real
reason to bother with Smalltalk at all. If Lispworks is not quite as
good as Franz Allegro technically, it's close enough that it doesn't
make any practical difference, especially if Franz's terms put Allegro
out of reach.

My advice to everyone facing such conflicts is to just get Lispworks
and get to work. If we want to use Lisp to reinvent the future, we
have to spend more time doing it and less time beating around the
bushes trying to decide what to do.

The real, important, fundamental, profound questions to ask yourself
are these:

1. Do you have Lispworks yet?
2. Have you used it yet, to reinvent the future?
3. If not, why not?

Espen Vestre

unread,
Jan 21, 2002, 4:20:15 AM1/21/02
to
cubic...@mailandnews.com (Software Scavenger) writes:

> If Lispworks is not quite as good as Franz Allegro technically

my impression is that YMMV, that it's difficult to rank the two
products. They're both _very_ good systems, and both companies give
excellent support.

--
(espen)

Johann Murauer

unread,
Jan 21, 2002, 6:51:45 AM1/21/02
to
On 17 Jan 2002 12:13:09 -0500, Jonathan Craven
<jona...@craven.mail.mcgill.ca> wrote:

>
>hjs...@bloomberg.com (Harvey J. Stein) writes:
>
>> jmur...@acm.org (Johann Murauer) writes:
>>

>> gcl has a Tk & I think a GTk interface.
>
>But again, with the lisp2wish idea I mentioned above yo