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Date: Sun, 30 Sep 79 16:36:00 GMT
Original-Date: 30 SEP 1979 1236-EDT
From: MILLER at MIT-AI (Mark L. Miller)

In Reply to:

  Date: 28 SEP 1979 2224-EDT
  From: RWK at MIT-MC (Robert W. Kerns)
  I'm not sure why you view the "proliferation of flavours NIL, LISPM, MACLISP"
  as a problem to be survived, instead of a sign of proliferic growth, while
  hoping for InterLisp to proliferate onto the VAX or XEROX or BBN frob.  It
  seems inconsistant.

Because the proliferation doesn't seem to be taking the need for
upward-compatibility very seriously.  I'd love to have some of the new
features, if I did not have to live in 545 Tech Square to use them.  The
approach that says, you have to have an I.T.S. or a Lisp Machine (just try
and get one) built at M.I.T. to do A.I. is parochial and mal-adaptive.  It
is time for A.I. to go out into the world and for us to tolerate the
existence of other sites trying to do similar work.  For God's sake, I
don't even know how DEFUN works anymore!  I always tried to write very
straightforward code, yet most of what I wrote less than a year ago cannot
even READ INTO my 20X MacLisp.  Consider: my LET macro has been superceded,
ALLFILES does not work on 20X, LEDIT does not work on 20X, (TYO 27.) does
not work on 20X, "IMAGE" in general does not work on file output, there are
a dozen new magic characters that autoload features I didn't really want,
etc.  If I had a manual (not a collection of news and notes) I could at
least look things up when they stopped working.  We can't even agree on
what (TYI) should return when the user types ^C!  -- Mark