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LispM Market Share

Received: from BLAISE.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com by ALAN.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com via CHAOS with CHAOS-MAIL id 15675; 15 Jan 90 13:35:02 PST
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 90 13:34 PST
From: Montgomery Kosma <kosma@ALAN.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com>
Subject: LispM Market Share
To: slug@ALAN.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com
In-Reply-To: <9001152003.AA06360@uunet.uu.net>
Message-ID: <19900115213436.9.KOSMA@BLAISE.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com>

 [...misc deleted...]

    4. File read performance is crummy on the Lispms.  Since that's done so
       often, it leaves the impression that the Lispms are slow machines. 

This has got to be one of the most frustrating things about the
Symbolics for me.  The symbolics may not be an inherently slow machine
but compared to a sparcstation (or even my amiga :-) it gives the feel
of being quite sluggish (disk i/o, keyboard response in certain
situations, changing windows, etc. etc.).  Of course, I use a Connection
Machine so I'm not used to waiting around unless I *really* have to ;-).

    5. Non-programming utilites on the Lispm are primitive.  After composing
       documentation with Frame Maker, who would want to go back to Zmacs?
       No WYSIWYG either -- ever try to make columns using
       LWCENTURYSCHOOLBOOK105, or viewgraphs with METS?  Is the now-defunct
       Illustrate the best graphics editor we can aspire to?

even programming utilities...I hate to say this, but I could really
benefit from a line-by-line single-step debugger like (oooh I hate to
say it!) VMS (ouch!!).

    8. Lisp is still has the aura of being the "AI" language.  Lisp
       machines are for AI hackers, no?

I don't know quite how rare it is for somebody to be doing computational
physics on a Symbolics (probably extremely rare aside from the
occasionaly Connection Machine front end) but I guess some (at least
one) people are.  If it wasn't for the Connection Machine I would be
doing fortran on a sun right now (****DEFINITELY**** not by choice), and
as it is, we will probably be concentrating more on Sun SPARC front ends
for the connection machine rather than the symbolics, primarily due to
issues of speed.

Monty Kosma
Lockheed Advanced Research