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- To: (BUG LISPM) at MIT-AI, NIL at MIT-AI
This is what a former Maclisp user says about Interlisp:
Date: 26 Sep 1979 8:23 pm (Wednesday)
From: VanLehn at PARC-MAXC
Here is a list of the features of interlisp environment that I use and like best.
The file package is so convenient that I can't conceive of doing without it.
Likewise, redo and undo are essential.
?= I use all the time because I always forget the orders of arguments, expecially
of the functions that I wrote a long time
? is useful when the system load is low enough that it beats looking up the
function in the manual. I don't use it in the afternoons.
Dwim's spelling corrector isn't worth it, probably. The percentage of correction
is low enough for the kinds of typos that I make that the overhead of waiting
several seconds while it tries to correct before I get notified is too high when the
system load is greater than 2. It would help alot if it notified me when it began
spelling correcting so I could interupt it.
Dwim has a rudimentary "focus of attention" that I use alot and like very much.
E.g. typing an editor command at top level throws me into the editor and
executes the command much faster than the usuall way. Typing Edit to the
break package almost always gets me into the right funciton in the right place. I
wish this focus stuff could be expanded.
I use the -> break command all the time.
The only part of clisp that I use is the record package and the FOR loops. The
advantage of clisp over the Maclisp macros approach is that I can use PPT to see
the translation in the editor, if I am worried about efficiency or potential
translation bugs. (you may have the equivalent of PPT by now -- its been years
since I used EMACS).
I have found the machine ground (vs. hand ground) functions to be an acquired
taste. I don't particularly like the interlisp indenting algorithm. When I hand
grind, I like to indent in increment of 4 spaces, regardless of the length of the
name of the function. I tried to put this into interlisp, but it would have meant
maintain a lisp.sav of my own. However, I do like the machine's doing the
grinding. The inability to defeat it has forced me to catch parentheses errors
when I was sure there were none.
That's all I can think of right now. I'll let you know if anything else springs to