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Re: where does mcl fit in?

We are (small) commercial developers, brought up originally with
high-performance projects using exotic processors (like Transputers), migrating
to the Mac about 4 years ago to develop CAD/CAM applications.  Our first
platform was MPW Pascal with MacApp (then 1.1.1), which I quickly loved, and we
continue to do most of our development in MacApp 2.0 (and maybe 3.0 soon too)
with Pascal (never C++!).
However, we frequently get asked to develop bespoke apps for customers which
either do not merit the (even short) time required to build in MacApp, or will
benefit greatly from an interactive development environment (e.g. graphics file
translators).  Those - and possibly more mainstream ones - we now do in MCL.
I asked many questions of the MCL team before I bought the product, and have
been delighted with it.  I think that Apple's commitment to MCL as a major
development environment is very real - their staff includes some very famous
Lispers, and although they are far from over-resourced, they are really hot and
very responsive to us, the customers.
Although I would not claim that I wrote even passable Lisp yet, my code seems
to work well, program quickly, and is eminently maintainable.  Whilst I still
hate C++ and love MPW Object Pascal, CLOS is streets ahead in many ways, and my
impression of MCL with CLOS is that it is a very rich environment which allows
you to develop in the way that you like.  The tools provided with MCL are in
many ways much more advanced than those of MacApp, and of course far more
flexible and customisable.  The only temporary drawback is that until 2.0 final
ships, making smallish standalone apps is not possible (standalones are > 1.3
meg in size), and I think that MCL will always be rather more voracious of RAM
and processor grunt than simpler compiler systems.  You do not of course get
the same vast Class Library as in MacApp, but personally I have found
development very much quicker in every way.
Plenty of expert Lispers have told me that Lisp was a language waiting for the
hardware to catch up with it, and I can assure you that modern Macs have done
so, and if you are looking to the future, I hope and expect that MCL will
continue to grow as a serious, exciting and productive development environment.
[Having said that, we still use and love MacApp - it is wonderful to have a
choice so that we can pick the right tool for a project]