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LispM Market Share
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Date: Thu, 18 Jan 90 11:35 PST
From: Eric Buckman <BUCKMAN@ALAN.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com>
Subject: LispM Market Share
Date: Thu, 18-Jan-90 05:08:27-PST
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 90 12:15 EST
From: barmar@Think.COM (Barry Margolin)
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 90 15:12 EST
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Stephen G. Rowley)
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 90 15:38:04 CST
If it wasn't for the Connection Machine I would be
doing fortran on a sun right now (****DEFINITELY**** not by choice), and
as it is, we will probably be concentrating more on Sun SPARC front ends
for the connection machine rather than the symbolics, primarily due to
issues of speed.
Speed of the front end? Perhaps I'm being ignorant, but why does the
front end have to be faster?
If the CM is spending lots of time waiting for the front end to feed it
instructions or data, then some of the power of the CM is being wasted.
It's very similar to the disk I/O issue -- you're wasting money putting
an incredibly fast disk on a Lispm if the bottleneck is the driver
software. The new CM software release includes some mechanisms for
moving some of the sequential parts of a program into the CM
microcontroller, so this issue may become less important, but you're
essentially programming in assembler when you do this, so it isn't as
pleasant as keeping the sequential stuff on the front end.
Keeping in mind we're essentially being forced to move off of Symbolics as a
front end for the CM because Thinking Machines marketing has decided that that's
their best move. They will not support the XL400 as a front end, so that means
we can't (even if Symbolics improves their speed as they did in the XL400) look
to Symbolics for improved front end performance. We have strong support for
using the Symbolics (it's proved very successfull so far), but evidently
Thinking machines' market isn't big enough to support more than two front end
platforms, hence the future holds less use of Symbolics platforms in aid of our
High Speed computing efforts.