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From: Andrew Shalit <alms-duOd456sFkNBDgjK7y7TUQ <at> public.gmane.org>
Subject: Re: Pathname and Unicode in MCL 5.1
Newsgroups: gmane.lisp.mcl.general
Date: Monday 1st October 2007 20:23:37 UTC (over 11 years ago)
Hi Folks --

I'm writing to clarify a few points and share some info about new  
features coming in OpenMCL.

First off, Clozure can't speak for Digitool or the MCL team (Alice  
Hartley, etc).  We don't know what the plans for MCL are.  We started  
hosting info-mcl as a professional courtesy, because the list was  
having some problems at its old host.  But you shouldn't read more  
into that in terms of the future of MCL. There is no current  
collaborative relationship between Clozure and Digitool, beyond  
Clozure's hosting the mailing list.

As for the past, it's true as Sean points out that many of us at  
Clozure worked on the original MCL team.  It's also true that OpenMCL  
was originally derived from (the non-gui portion of) MCL.  It was  
forked in the late 1990's, and they've largely gone their separate  
ways since. We don't have plans to reunite them.

As for the future of OpenMCL:

We've recently been able to put more resources into OpenMCL  
development.  The command-line (non-GUI) version of OpenMCL now runs  
on Linux, Free BSD and OS X, supporting PPC and 64-bit Intel  
processors.  We hope to have a 32-bit Intel port at some point, but  
we don't have anything to announce about that today.

Gary Byers has written an Objective-C interface that allows you to  
write Cocoa applications for the Mac in OpenMCL.  This is not as  
simple as the MCL carbon interface was, but that's mostly a result of  
the fact that Cocoa is a much more complete object-oriented  
framework, and we are providing complete access to it: you can add  
Lisp methods to Objective C objects, you can subclass across the  
languages, etc.  For those who want something simpler, we are working  
on an example library that provides a quick-and-easy gui programming  
interface along the lines of what MCL offered.

We have used the Cocoa tools to create a GUI-based IDE for OpenMCL on  
the Mac.  The IDE is approaching beta quality and we intend to keep  
putting resources into it as much as we can.  It's not the same as  
the MCL IDE, but we think Macintosh people will be happy with it.   
It's a real Macintosh app.  This currently runs on PPC Macs, and it  
will run on 64-bit Intel Macs as soon as Leopard is released.   
(Leopard is required to run Cocoa as a 64-bit process.)

The IDE would benefit from having more users test it: we'd welcome  
your feedback, bug reports, and, yes, code contributions.  At this  
point if you want to try it out, you'll need to first build it  
yourself from the command-line version of OpenMCL.  To do that,  
download OpenMCL 1.1 from openmcl.clozure.com, install it, and type  
(REQUIRE 'COCOA-APPLICATION) at the prompt.  This will create a  
double-clickable version of the IDE at ccl/cocoa-ide/openmcl.  Keep  
in mind that this will only work on PPC Macs and only in the 32-bit  
version of OpenMCL until Leopard is released.  (If you are an Apple  
developer and have access to Leopard now, let us know and we'll hook  
you up with the tools needed to run this on 64-bit Intel Macs under  

Lastly, we know that the documentation needs a lot of work.  We have  
plans to do at least some of that work in the coming months as well.

Happy Hacking,

Andrew Shalit

On Sep 29, 2007, at 12:09 PM, Sean Ferguson wrote:

> Hi Peter,
> I have absolutely no inside information at all, but it did seem to  
> be very interesting that MCL's mailing list is being hosted on  
> clozure. And this bit from the OpenMCL web page does seem to imply  
> a kind of coming together of the two projects:
> OpenMCL has its roots in the popular commercial Common Lisp  
> implementation, Macintosh Common Lisp (MCL), and is developed,  
> maintained, and supported by the core MCL development team.
> So does this mean that the MCL developers are now working on the  
> OpenMCL compiler? It's what it sounds like to me. Maybe this is  
> something that is well-known already. Or maybe it is just a typo on  
> their page and "core MCL" should read "core OpenMCL"
> I have been imagining that there might be a possibility that the  
> open source OpenMCL compiler could be combined with the macintosh  
> graphics support for building interfaces and with Fred to create a  
> commercial version that was maybe less expensive than the current 
> (?!) non-version. But this is complete and total conjecture on my  
> part.
> In my case, I am a composer who uses MCL and another piece of  
> software written in MCL (OpenMusic) for musical purposes. So a  
> completely open source solution would be less desirable in the  
> sense that I do not have the advanced programming background to be  
> able to contribute to, say, an open source IDE for Lisp. But I  
> could really use one! ;-) So I'm crossing my fingers for a hybrid  
> open/commercial release.
> There was is an open source OSX IDE based on OpenMCL by Mikel Evins:
> http://common-lisp.net/project/clotho/
> But it seems that it also only runs on PowerPC, so it isn't much  
> help for us. It is hosted on the OpenMCL ftp site (current version  
> 0.8) right now, so hopefully there is some work going into making  
> it intel 64 compatible.
> Sean
>> At 12:30 AM -0400 07/09/28, Sean Ferguson wrote:
>> >All I can say is that if they *haven't* been waiting for Leopard's
>> >release because they needed proper 64-bit or whatever and MCL
>> >*doesn't* come out within a week or two of OSX 10.5, then I am going
>> >to be a very unhappy ex-MCL user...
>> >
>> >Sean
>> I so hope that you are right (in your anticipation).
>> The general game of mute smoke and evasion on the darkest moonless
>> night does not inspire confidence.
>> If you are forced to be an ex-MCL user, have you any plans of where
>> you will go next (re, lisp work)?
>> I am rather frustrated at all the Emacs based lisp IDEs.  Cannot
>> comprehend OpenMCL's lack of IDE or graphics.
>> There's been talk of Closure taking on MCL.  To my mind a combination
>> of MCL Fred with OpenMCL Intel 64 native backend, plus modern
>> graphics with optimized OpenGL, as an Open source project just might
>> make the beginnings of a viable development environment for lisp work
>> on the Mac.  But that doesn't seem to be something that many are
>> prepared to talk about, let alone contribute to.
>> Any thoughts?
>> Peter
>> _______________________________________________
>> info-mcl mailing list
>> [email protected]
>> http://clozure.com/mailman/listinfo/info-mcl
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