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Parallel Lisps for Parallel Machines
There has been quite a bit of interest expressed in this group (and
others) regarding parallel Lisps for parallel machines. I have been
one of the people expressing interest, and am very thankful for all of
you in Netland who helped me find the information I needed. I
promised to post a summary of my findings, but once I started writing,
the summary turned into a small technical report. This report has now
been published in our (Northeast Parallel Architectures Center)
newsletter so, rather than chew-up net bandwidth more than I already
have, I would like to offer to send the report to anyone who is
interested. Just email your Snail Mail address (you know, the one
with street names, zip codes, and the like) to our newsletter editor
(it's ok, I asked her if I could do this) at:
Please don't send your request to me, I'll just have to forward it to
If you have trouble getting your email through, you could always try a
postcard or letter addressed to:
250 Machinery Hall
Syracuse NY 13244
Also, please feel free to request a subscription even if your interest
in parallel computation is less specific than Lisp. Each issue (10
per year) has a technical report on some aspect of parallel
Here is what's covered in my report:
1) a brief introduction to Lisp. Sorry to all you Lispers (hi Bjorn) --
you'll just have to skip this section of the report.
2) an inordinately brief treatment of automatically parallelizing Lisps,
like Parcel (for the Alliant), and Lisps with explicit synchronization
mechanisms, like ZLISP (for the Ultracomputer).
3) fuller treatments of QLisp (Alliant), Multilisp (Encore Multimax), and
*Lisp (Connection Machine).
4) mere mention of Multischeme, Schemes and Lisps for the BBN Butterfly,
Linda Lisp (which is commercially available for transputers),
CM Lisp (Connection Machine) and Paralation Lisp (Connection Machine,
and possibly other architectures).
5) a relatively complete bibliography covering all of the above.
(Aside: I have heard that at this summer's ACM Parallel Processing
conference there will be a paper by Carriero and Gelernter (et al?)
mentioning Linda-based Lisp. I couldn't get the details in time to
include the reference in my bibliography.)
Please note that the amount of space devoted in my tech. report to any
given version of Lisp is not correlated with the importance of that
version of Lisp. The only correlation is with my ignorance, combined
with time and space restrictions. Also note that the mapping from
Lisps to machines isn't really a partial function as seems to be
implied by the above list -- those are just the high spots.
The tech. report does not list the email addresses of whom you need to
contact in order to get these Lisps, but if you send me a message (at
email@example.com) saying which one(s) you're interested in, I'll
send you any addresses that seem appropriate. I think posting them
might be a bit presumptuous of me.
If you know of any parallel Lisps not mentioned above, I would
appreciate your letting me know. And thanks again to all those who
responded to my parallel Lisp posting several weeks ago. Sorry for
being so slow with my summary -- been a tad busy.
Bill O'Farrell, Northeast Parallel Architectures Center at Syracuse University