Friday, January 20, 2012

How Close can you get to a Lisp Machine?

Aside from the obvious, I mean.

Here's what I've been playing with for the past little while; using clisp instead of bash.

Those instructions still work surprisingly well, given that they were published all of 11 years ago. Here's what I did to replicate them

apt-get install clisp x-window-system
echo "/usr/bin/clisp" >> /etc/shells

I then installed quicklisp and ran (ql:add-to-init-file), then manually added the following to .clisprc:

(ql:quickload (list :cl-fad :cl-ppcre :trivial-shell))
(defun startx () (execute "/usr/bin/X11/xinit"))
and the following to my .xinitrc clisp -x "(progn (ql:quickload (list :clx :cl-ppcre :stumpwm)) (funcall (intern \"STUMPWM\" :stumpwm))"

After poking around for a little while and making sure everything worked approximately correctly, I ran chsh and set my shell to /usr/bin/clisp.

Performance-wise, it's surprisingly snappy given

a - what it's running on and

b - that there are at least 3 instances of clisp at work at any given time. It's a toy, but quite a quick and fun toy, actually.

Now, granted, the title is supposed to be taken with a grain of salt[1], but this still feels like it's approaching the target. What I've got running is a fully open system[2] that implements most of its components in Lisp (the shell is Clisp, the WM is Stump and the editor is Emacs). I suppose I could also throw in Closure[3] and Climacs as well, but I'm done playing for today.


1 - [back] - since I've never used an actual LISP Machine or even the Open Genera System. Incidentally, these links are here to remind me to look into it when I have a spare moment, so I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to say "never used 'em".

2 - [back] - Except that it uses b43-fwcutter for the wireless card.

3 - [back] - As an aside, that meme-space is getting pretty crowded. To the point that I have to disambiguate in conversation. There's Clojure (the language), Clozure (the Common Lisp implementation) and Closure (the common-lisp based browser/html-parser)

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