Symbolics legacy

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Jules F. Grosse

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Oct 24, 2002, 10:20:15 AM10/24/02
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from reading all those stories about genera, symbolics, made me wonder
how many great applications weren written in common lisp. for
example, genera, statice, leonardo. probably only cl-http is avalable
today. are there any plans to release those excellent programs in
source?

Vlad S.

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Oct 26, 2002, 6:30:55 PM10/26/02
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jlsg...@netscape.net (Jules F. Grosse) wrote in message news:<17c920a6.02102...@posting.google.com>...

Well, I don't know about Leonardo, but the S-products (
http://kogs-www.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/~moeller/symbolics-info/s-products.html
, even S-Paint and all) got acquired by Symbolics' Japanese
distributor, Nichimen, and ported to the SGI and renamed 'N-World',
which I also believe was later ported to NT. There was a pretty big
re-write of the software, with the end product now called Mirai (
http://www.izware.com/mirai/index.html ). It runs on NT and SGIs on
Allegro CL. Since Nichimen folded a few years ago, some of the
original developers of the software that stayed with the company
(Larry Malone and Luca Pisati, and probably a few others) decided to
buy back the program and develop it under their own company, Winged
Edge Technologies (now called Izware). There was some kind of trouble
with the venture, and apparently it's difficult to purchase a copy of
Mirai right now, but according to them Izware are almost done with the
next version and will start selling it sometime soon.

Even though the current version hasn't been updated since 1999, it
still blows the current versions Softimage and Maya away in a lot of
categories (namely the interface and the geometry tools - A|W doesn't
have a clue), and has many aspects where they've just caught up to
(skeleton system, NLA animation system, mo-cap integration, vertex
deformations, etc.) Not to mention that having CL as the plug-in
language makes MEL look like a joke.

There's also Macsyma, the symbolic algebra system written at MIT. You
can't get the improved Symbolics version anymore, but there is a GPLed
version derived from the MIT sources ( http://maxima.sourceforge.net/
).

Martti Halminen

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Oct 28, 2002, 3:13:04 PM10/28/02
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jlsg...@netscape.net (Jules F. Grosse) wrote in message
news:<17c920a6.02102...@posting.google.com>...
> from reading all those stories about genera, symbolics, made me wonder
> how many great applications weren written in common lisp. for
> example, genera, statice, leonardo. probably only cl-http is avalable
> today. are there any plans to release those excellent programs in
> source?

I'm under the impression that Genera was mostly written in Zetalisp,
though occasional parts are in CL (perhaps 5 - 10 % of the files, on a
cursory look).

As Symbolics is still selling the stuff (I presume, though their Web
site has been down lately), it is likely that a free release won't
happen soon. In the LispOS project a few years ago there was some talk
of getting at the original MIT LispM sources; I was left under the
impression that that failed due to MIT either not finding the stuff any
more, or being unable to read the tapes.

The easiest way to get the sources is probably to acquire your own
Symbolics machine :-)

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