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Release 7.1 is now the default world for Symbolics LispMs at the AI lab
This message is meant for everyone in the AI lab who uses Lisp Machines.
Since most Lisp Machine users have not bothered to put themselves on
INFO-LISPM-MIT@OZ, I am sending this message to ALL-AI@OZ as well. If you want
to receive messages similar to this announging major software changes on Lisp
Machines, you should put yourself on INFO-LISPM-MIT@OZ.
Thinking Machines has finally delivered version 4.0 of the Connection Machine
software that runs in Genera 7.1, so finally there are more reasons to run
version 7 of the Symbolics software on your lisp machine than version 6.
I have now made the default distribution be version 7. This means for those
lisp machines that no preference has ever been expressed for a particular
version of software, the version of software that is run by default will
change from release 6 to release 7. Over the next day or so, Lisp Machines
will automatically transfer over the Release 7 world loads in a background
process while they are idle, and will update the boot files to boot Release 7.
This does not mean that you can't run Release 6 anymore. All this means is
that instead of the burden being on the people running Release 7 to type the
":Install Distribution World" command to put the software on their machine and
to set their preference, the burden has been transferred to those people who
run Release 6. You still can run Release 6 for as long as you want. To make a
particular machine have Release 6 on it that doesn't have it already, just
type the command ":Install Distribution World Rel-6" on it.
Over the next day or so, Lisp Machines with no preference will automatically
transfer over the Release 7 world loads in a background process while they are
idle, and will update the boot files to boot Release 7. Those machines for
which a preference has been declared will continue to run the particular
version of software that was preferred.
Preferences for a particular version of software can be made by one of two
ways. One way is by answering "Yes" to the "Do you want the namespace updated"
question that is asked at the completion of the "Install Distribution World"
world command. Answering "Yes" will cause the configuration that you chose to
install to become the preferred configuration for that machine. Another way to
set the preference is to use the namespace editor to edit the namespace object
for you lisp machine, and to add or change the user-property
DISTRIBUTION-CONFIGURATION. You can set this to be any choice that the
"Install Distribution World" command will take.
Even though you can still continue to use Release 6 for as long as you want,
there are lots of good reasons to run release 7. Here are a few:
o In spite of rumors you have heard to the contrary, a lot of code actually
runs faster in Release 7.1 than in Release 6.1. ZMACS, for example, is
o There is support for the NFS file protocol for transferring files to and
from Suns more easily in Release 7, but not in Release 6.
o Illustrate works in Release 7 as well as Release 6.
o TeX and printer support is better in Release 7 than in Release 6.
For example, BibTeX runs in Release 7, but not in Release 6.
o The more up-to-date Connection Machine Software runs in Release 7.
o Release 7 has better Common Lisp support in it than in Release 6. Your
Zetalisp code will still work, too. You don't have to convert all your
programs to common lisp just to run them in Release 7.
o Release 7 has fewer bugs in it than Release 6, and they might get fixed,
whereas there's very little chance that any bugs in Release 6 will get
fixed, as most software developers have moved to Release 7 long ago and
don't care if something doesn't work in Release 6.