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Re: Is MCL portable? (was Re: What is MCL? (long msg))

> From: duthen@ircam.fr (Jacques Duthen)
> Date: 26 Jul 91 10:17:54 GMT
> In article <680296033.5984111@AppleLink.Apple.COM> ALCABES@AppleLink.Apple.COM (Alcabes, Harvey) writes:
> > 
> >Macintosh Common Lisp 2.0 is a full implementation of the current industry
> >standard Common Lisp programming language, as defined in "Common Lisp:  The
> >Language, Second Edition," by Guy L. Steele, Jr.
> I read some time ago (from someone of X3J13, Moon maybe?) that CLtL II
> is not (yet) a standard. CLtL *is* the current standard.

Well, let's not get too confused.  The word "standard" means different things
to different people.  Here are some facts:

There are no official standards promulgated by standards organizations today for
Common Lisp or any language like it.

There is an official standard for Scheme, IEEE P1178.

CLtL was a "de facto standard" or "industry standard" for several years in the
sense that all vendors of Common Lisp or languages like Common Lisp either
claimed to support the language described in CLtL or claimed to be moving in
that direction, and also in the related sense that Common Lisp users found the
CLtL book a useful aid to their use of those various vendors' Lisps.

CLtL2 is the "de facto standard" or "industry standard" now in the same sense.
Not everyone implements everything in that book, but I can't think of anyone
who says they are ignoring CLtL2 and sticking completely to CLtL.

Although one can say that most vendors of languages like Common Lisp treat CLtL2
as the industry standard, one can see increasing interest in similar but different
languages such as Eulisp.

There is an American national standards committee working on a standard for Common
Lisp.  This committee voted to accept CLtL as one of its working documents, and
never voted to accept CLtL2 with that status.  In that sense CLtL is "more official"
than CLtL2, however since the changes from CLtL to CLtL2 are all based on the work
of this same committee, that's a distinction without a difference.

If and when this committee completes its work and the official process for adopting
standards is performed, there will be an official standard for Common Lisp in the USA.
This standard will no doubt differ from CLtL2 in many small details.

> So, was is going to happen to MCL 2.0 when a new standard comes (possibly
> different from CLtL II) ?

I am not a member of the MCL group nor do I set Apple policy, but any reasonable
person would assume that when a standard emerges that widely replaces CLtL2, MCL
will evolve to conform to the new standard, just as it did when CLtL2 replaced CLtL
as the "industry standard."