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T and franz
- Subject: T and franz
- From: Olin.Shivers@CMU-CS-H
- Date: Sat, 4 Feb 84 09:18:13 GMT
- Apparently-to: <franz-friends@UCB-VAX>
- Original-date: 4 Feb 1984 04:18:13-EST
I stand corrected by Mr. Fateman. Perhaps I should have said:
If one is interested in running lisp on an Apollo, I recommend looking
into T. It is a lisp very well supported on Apollo workstations, and has
many advantages over franz.
From: mcgeer%ucbdali@Berkeley (Rick McGeer)
Pardon my ignorance, but why (exactly) is T much nicer than Franz?
T is one of the new lexically-scoped lisps. The advantages of a lexically
scoped lisp were explored in detail in a series of papers published at MIT
by Gerald Sussman and Guy Steele. Their lexically-scoped dialect was
called Scheme. I emphatically recommend these papers to anyone interested
in these issues; they are jewels of scholarly writing.
Most of the new lisps (Common Lisp, T, and NIL for example) are lexically
scoped; it appears to be the direction that lisp is moving in.
I've written large systems, AI, and 3D graphics programs in both franz and T.
I prefer T to franz hands down. The question of "why" can be broken up into
(1) franz is the pits and (2) T is good stuff.
Here at CMU, our professors told us last week that anyone writing AI qualifier
programming tasks in franz wouldn't be likely to get a good grade. They
didn't have the patience to wait around for the programs to terminate. What
can I say?
Just the fact that T is lexically scoped gives you tremendous power and
cleanliness in your code. One of the advantages of a lexically scoped lisp
like T is that the semantics of code is the same interpreted and compiled.
Lexical scoping also provides opportunities for compiler optimizations not
available to dynamically scoped lisps. While franz is known for its pessimizing
compiler, T uses an optimizing compiler based on Bliss tn packing techniques.
Aside from efficiency issues, T is a pleasant language to write in.
The whole concept is just very clean. The entire system -- compiler,
interpreter, gc, loader -- is written in T. The language has great data
types for systems hacking. The naming conventions were reworked without
worrying about compatibility with previous lisps, with the result that
the syntax was cleaned up considerably. Etc, etc.. I could go on, but I'm
beginning to froth at the mouth.
Check it out. Why use a Maclisp knockoff when you can be state-of-the-art?
And remenber, T is the language recommended by four out of five dentists for
their patients who choose to hack lisp.