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Re: A Dylan implemented on Common Lisp

In article <795096284snz@mondas.demon.co.uk>, ward@mondas.demon.co.uk wrote:

> In article <osiris-1003951607450001@slip-2-32.ots.utexas.edu>
>            osiris@cs.utexas.edu "Rob Browning" writes:
> > In article <D584q4.2E8@cee.hw.ac.uk>, andrew@cee.hw.ac.uk (Andrew
Dinn) wrote:
> > 
> > > If you add on top of this the overheads for CLOS (which is also not
> > > layered and hence made Common Lisp an even bigger ball of mud) then
> > > you can change thet 12 Mb to 20 Mb.
> > 
> > I don't know what system you're talking about, but MCL only takes up about
> > 2-3 MB even with CLOS, an entire  optimizing *compiler*, and  all the
> > Macintosh interface glue.
> Whereas to develop with Visual C++ 2.0 under NT 3.5 you _really_ need 24Mb.
> I have 20Mb and it shows. Would take Common Lisp anyday, given the choice.
> -- 

I mostly agree with you.  However ...

There _is_ a difference here that changes the perception of the problem. 
Lisp does not make a clean separation of the modes(?) of software
development, i.e. compilation, linking, execution, and debugging.  In
Lisp, all these steps are mixed together in a single environment (which is
one of the strengths of Lisp).  The classical languages, like C/C++,
separate execution from the other modes.  So, even though it takes me 24MB
to develop a Visual C++ application, I can (easily?) deliver an
application requiring less than one MB.  This means that the size, power,
... of the machines my users use can be significantly less than that for
the machines my developers use.  If I am in an environment with hundreds
or thousands of users with varying combinations of old and new systems
this becomes a _big_ issue.

I think the ability of Dylan to deliver "Hello World" (a well-recognized
wholely unrealistic application) in an image that takes less than, say,
half a MB would go a long way toward creating a positive perception in the
marketplace of Dylan as a serious development language.


The above opinions are my own and not MITRE's.
Chris Reedy, Workstation System Engineering Center, Z667
The MITRE Corporation, 7525 Colshire Drive, McLean, VA 22102-3481
Email: creedy@mitre.org  Phone: (703) 883-7183  FAX: (703) 883-6991