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EuLisp meeting in Bath -- Private Message


I have just returned from the EuLisp meeting in Bath, England, on
June 2, 1986. I have three reports which I will send to you from
that meeting. One is a two page summary, another is a preprint of
their paper for the August Lisp Conference, and the third is a
draft of their proposal. These are hard copy documents so I need
regular mailing addresses. I have good addresses for Fahlman,
Gabriel, Moon, Ohlander, Squires, and Weinreb (in the mail this
afternoon). Anybody else who wants copies should give me a good
mailing address.

The first two discuss their subsetting idea as mostly a
definitional approach to defining their level-2 language, which
should be very much like Common Lisp. There was very little talk
of implementing their level-0 (sort of like Scheme), but there
did seem to be some concern about implementations and useability
of their level-1. The meeting brought out some disagreement
between the members of the group about doing things the Common
Lisp way or doing things the "right" way. When an ISO group is
formed, some Common Lisp decisions will have to be revisited in
forming a consensus, but don't be surprised if a lot of the
Europeans back the existing Common Lisp approach (and of course
others oppose it).  The ones who wanted to change a lot of things
did not seem to have very strong support within the group (but
remember they were on their good behavior for a foreign visitor).

The third report is the beginning draft of their proposal. This
is a very private document of theirs which they must have assumed
I would circulate, but I wouldn't want to make a big deal about
it. It was mainly drafted by Herbert Stoyan of Erlangen, Germany.
Some parts of it have evidently been lost in electronic
transmission and editing. They hope to have it finished by their
next meeting (early July) and have it available at the August
Lisp meeting in Boston. There is some real anti-Common Lisp
phrasing in it, to which a number of the people at the meeting

Attendance: Jeff Dalton (AI Appls Inst, Edinburgh); John Fitch
(Univ of Bath); Timm Krumnack (Krupp-Atlas Elecktronik, Germany);
Eugen Neidl (Lab de Marcoussis, France, they are building a Lisp
machine); Andy Norman (Hewlett-Packard Labs, Bristol, England);
Julian Padget (Univ Bath); Pete Richards (Systems Designers,
Surrey, England, really representing the Symbolics Users Group);
Herbert Stoyan (Univ of Erlangen, Germany); John Sturdy (Univ
Bath, grad student); Quyen Tran (AFNOR, France); Sam Valentine
(Systems Designers, Surrey, England, representing POPLOG); John
Williams (Univ of Sussex, doing Lisp for POPLOG); and Robert

Chailloux was not able to be there. Fitch and Stoyan seemed to be
the leaders of the revisionist group. Padget seemed more neutral.
Dalton seemed more of the Common Lisp defender. The industry
people were mostly listeners. There was very little technical
discussion (but the agenda had been set up that way).  I was
there more to listen, but it was clear to me that some of their
arguments were weak (and conversely some were not).  The sooner
we can start meeting together, the sooner all of you can begin to
work on them (and vice versa).

I still have to work out the ISO convenorship thing with
Chailloux and France. I have talked with him on the phone since
the meeting. There seems to be a real feeling of exclusion of
Europeans from the Common Lisp decision making. We will need to
expand our committees and we need to think of other ways to
include them.

-- Bob Mathis