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Moving from a Symbolics to an Explorer.
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 90 11:07 PDT
From: RDP@ALAN.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com (Robert D. Pfeiffer)
I'll probably be branded a traitor for asking this but I really need to
What's involved in lifting files from a Symbolics Machine and moving to a
The common ancestor of Genera and the Explorer OS is the MIT Lisp
Machine; the two genetic lines diverged when LMI and Symbolics were
founded, about ten years ago. In general, anything Symbolics invented
will not work on the Explorer. The condition system is the only major
exception I know of, and there are probably differences by now.
I believe the Explorer still implements Old Flavors. There may be a
CLOS available for it; if not, PCL should work.
Pathnames may be a problem. I believe the Explorer file system uses
the same pathname syntax as logical pathnames (both are extensions of
ITS pathname syntax). Then again, if the Exporer is a MicroExplorer
you'll probably be using the Macintosh file system.
There are some character set differences. The two systems have
different named function keys on their keyboards (the Explorer keyboard
is the same as the LM-2 keyboard), and these differences are reflected
in the names of some of the named "#\" characters.
Symbolics's character set stuff won't work.
What tape format would be best to use?
At the time the companies were founded I don't think there was a Lispm
tape format, so this could be tricky. There may be a utility to read
Symbolics carry tapes; ask your TI sales rep. If not, they can probably
read tar tapes, and Genera 8.0 can write ASCII files to tar tapes.
Will Zmail mail files be readable?
They both should be able to read and write Babyl and ITS format mail
files. Kbin files probably can't be read by the Explorer.
Are there any random issues pertaining to the mode line in Lisp source
I believe the "Package", "Mode", "Nofill" and probably "Lowercase"
options predate the split offs. The "Syntax" option is a Symbolics
invention, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Explorer has it as well.
The "Default-Character-Style" option is a Symbolics invention, but it
shouldn't cause any trouble when it's ignored.
How similar are the two Zmacs editors? Would hacks for one work in the
Very similar. I wrote most of my personal Zmacs hacks eight years ago
while I was at MIT; after an absence from using Lisp Machines for seven
years I came to TMC and brought my old hacks with me, and they still
Any other comments about compatibility issues?