[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]


This message is in response to previous messages on the topics of
"Getting things rolling" and "Documenting our decisions"; I raise
three points -- a trip to Paris on May 5 to meet with the EUâ??LISP
Committee, some information on copyrights and ANSI standards, and
what is the central essence of Common Lisp?

Committee organization -- I think I was drafted to do the
organizational and administrative work associated with the
steering committee.  I'll keep doing that.  As to a formal
meeting; I don't think one is necessary yet.

I will send out a message requesting (again) the identification
of people and companies participating in this process.  This will
probably need to be done two or three more times before the end
of 1986.

As to ARPA net access; there are some possibilities that people
on the Source or CompUServe or MCI-Mail may be able to
communicate with ARPA net mail in ways similar to USE net or
CSnet.  ARPA net access may only be a temporary problem and as
such Steph Squires seemed willing to help with any real needs.

I will probably attend the May 5 meeting of the EUâ??LISP committee
in Paris.  On administrative and standards issues, I feel
prepared; on technical issues, I need some guidance.  I talked to
Chailloux this morning and I expect to have a couple of other
discussions before the trip.  He always seems reasonable and
willing to talk.

What is the central essence of Common Lisp?  If I had a better
understanding of this, I think I could understand the European
"levels" approach better.  There is more to it than just the name
given to a particular function or how a particular function is
specified or how it is implemented or made available to a user.
Those kinds of things can be worked out.  More difficult are
fundamental things (for example, how scopes are handled).  Is
there a list of what the fundamental concepts or approaches are?
This is also linked to the question of validation.  What does it
take to be considered a Common Lisp implementation?  Is there a
minimal acceptable level?

Are there other things I should consider in meeting with the
EUâ??LISP group?  Does anyone else want to go?

Another issue that has been raised is the copyright and
availability of the final standard.  In general ANSI holds the
copyright to their standards.  They also want to encourage the
use of their standards and don't want copyright problems to stand
in the way.  When something is in the public domain, there is no
control over its use.  I think what we are really interested in
is a pre-arranged, royalty-free permission to use.

I talked to Cathy Kachurik of X3 about this copyright situation.
She has already contacted Digital Press and they seem willing to
turn over the right to produce a derived work.  That would free
us to use as much or as little from the Steele book as is now
thought appropriate.

We should begin to make a list of the kinds of things we want
people to be able to do with the standard -- provide machine
readable copies with a language processor, incorporate it into
automatic documentation or help systems, reprint sections in
manuals or text books, and so forth.  I think it is best that we
come up with such a list and then build it into the overall plan
of work for X3J13.  We will also have to arrange for distribution
of any versions other than the ANSI printed one.  ISI may be the
best for the "standard" one and CMU for "enhanced or modified or
working" versions.

-- Bob Mathis