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SAVE OBJECT Code Release Information

Hello LISP experts;

  SAVE OBJECT, the utility that saves portable ASCII representations of LISP
 objects to files, is still alive and kicking, unfortunately.

 I say 'unfortunately', of course, because this toy system was developed
 years ago as a stopgap measure until the Common Lisp vendors of the time
(there were only about four vendors then!) implemented the same functionality
 in their products. With the exception of Symbolics, Inc., the ability to
save out persistent objects in a portable way hasn't been incorporated into
Common Lisp products yet (MAKE-LOAD-FORM and #. solutions are partial
 exceptions to this), and the number of vendors and versions have multiplied.

 There are now seven or eight popular Common Lisp implementations at least,
not counting variations such as PCL vs. CLOS: there are alsp many "new"
Common Lisp platforms that run on the PC, including AKCL and Allegro\PC.

Mac Common Lisp is particularly tough to deal with because the minor versions
of MCL differ greatly, and require a lot of "#+" ing and "#-"ing to encapsulate
the low-level CLOS accessors and other low-level code. Many of you have been
good enough over the years to send in your MCL patches. Many of these patches
for MCL are incorporated in the newest version of SAVE OBJECT. I mention this
because of Joe's question, and others, who have trouble using SAvE OBJECT in
MCL. We should be able to consolidate MCL patches in a useful way in the new
release: in the meantime, I'm sending Joe some patches which may help.

The release of the new version of SAVE OBJECT has been delayed due to a
recent illness of mine, and I apologize to those who have written in asking
for the code and havent yet received it! You are all still on the list and
the new version will be propagated to the relevant code archives, including
the CMU and Cambridge apple archives, hopefully within the week. I'm attempting
to dredge up a Mac which has MCL 2.0.1 on it to test SAVE OBJECT on a more
recent MCL, as well as the latest (hopefully not LAST!) version of CMU Common Lisp on the Sun workstation. Allegro\PC, Lucid, Allegro, Symbolics, and AKCL will also be supported, and there is a MANUAL and WHITE PAPER in the works this time.

Why is SAVE OBJECT worth your time? Speaking as the author, the utility has
probably outlived its usefulness in its current form; the issues of standard-
ization and evolution of Common Lisp ARE very important, however, and I urge
you to keep them in mind when you talk with your vendors. Encourage vendors
and developers to keep persistence in mind when they build new products or
evolve old ones! In the meantime, I'll continue to maintain the SAVE OBJECT
code and respond to bug reports and questions as time permits.

The manual and white paper for SAVE OBJECT will not be distributed with
the code. Send me email if you are interested in further information on

       Happy Holidays to all of you, and happy persistency!

	Kerry Koitzsch (kerry@crl.com)