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CLOE, C development environment on the Symbolics machines

    Date:  Thu, 7 Jan 88 14:38 EST
    From: Araman@bco-multics.arpa

    At AAAI Symbolics announced CLOE (common lisp development/delivery on
    UNIX 5.3) and support for X-WINDOWS.  In addition a C development
    environment was also announced.  I am trying to find out more
    information about these products.  I have the following questions.

    1.  Has any one technically evaluated the products (or is it too soon?)

It's too soon, I think.  None of this stuff has been released yet.
We're planning on beta-testing C and we haven't gotten that yet,
although we're hoping for it to come in the near future.  X Windows will
probably be quite some time, though -- they haven't even announced it as
a product, all they said was that they were planning on doing it.  It
certainly won't be done in time for Genera 7.2, which is when the other
products you mentioned are supposed to be released.

    3.  Will the COMMON LISP delivery environment on UNIX 5.3 run in any
    UNIX 5.3 machine.

Since it includes a cross-compiler, this seems highly unlikely, since it
is impossible to write compiler that generates code for ALL machines
that could potentially run Unix 5.3 (unless you do like Kyoto Common
Lisp does and compile to C).  I believe they specifically said (at SLUG,
at least, I don't know what they said at AAAI) that it was initially
targeted to the 80386.  They will also be coming out with various other
80386 products this year (particularly a co-processor board that goes in
a Symbolics machine and lets it run Unix or MS-DOS in parallel with

    4.  How complete is the C development environment.

I've never personally used any of their non-Lisp languages, but what I
have heard and can imagine about them seems pretty good.  A Symbolics
machine is an excellent development environment for any language.  You
get all the incremental compilation, hardware bounds and type-checking,
and debugging features that you get for Lisp (although in the case of C,
bounds checking only works to the resolution of a malloc'ed block or
stack frame, because C arrays don't have inherent sizes).  They also
have some neat syntax-directed editor features, such as electric font
changing for language keywords and comments, templates that create
fill-in-the-blank programming constructs, and of course blinking
curly-braces, brackets, and parens.

    Basically, we are trying to decide if it is a good idea to develop
    systems on symbolics and deliver on UNIX.

My guess would be that it would be.  Personally, I know of no better
debugging environment than a Lisp Machine.

For C development here some people have been using a C interpreter
called Saber.  I don't know much about it, though.  Ask in a couple of
months after we've started testing Symbolics C and we'll probably be
able to contrast them.