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- To: KMP at MIT-MC
- From: George J. Carrette <GJC at MIT-MC>
- Date: Sat, 1 Nov 80 23:49:00 GMT
- Cc: CATCH-THROW at MIT-MC, MILLER at MIT-MC, PSZ at MIT-MC
- Original-date: 1 November 1980 18:49-EST
Kent, I think PSZ suggestion of some kind of 1980 release of
Maclisp is something to consider too. To tell the truth, I hate
to imagine students being introduced to lisp, and a course taught
in an standard maclisp environment.
When I introduce people to lisp, mostly when I see they need an
expressive power they can't get in Macsyma, I always start them off
in the most up to date macro environment; and most importantly
make sure they read good new code to see how things are done,
before I let them read old macsyma system code.
The regularization of the language can be done in a burst for
the people who are starting fresh.
I think the courses which use a practical lisp system, (i.e. one
with a compiler, 6.001 doesn't count), need to have a least one
thoughtful and expert maclisp programmer go over the environment
with a fine comb, making sure the good stuff and defaults are in,
and the bad stuff is out. This takes experience of course, but shouldn't
take too much time.
Most of documented maclisp is simply very low-level stuff.
*ARRAY, HUNK, ARRAYCALL, STORE, even RPLACA, RPLACD, are things that
just aren't seen in new maclisp code. I would say none of the STATUS and
SSTATUS stuff are directly applicable. DECLARE is also low-level because
subtle misuse can cause unpredictable effects. One could go on and on ...