ANN: NiCLOS Engineering Release now available 
Author Message
 ANN: NiCLOS Engineering Release now available

An early release of NiCLOS is now available at http://www.*-*-*.com/
It would be most helpful to get some feedback from the Lisp
Community on the system before it gets released to non-Lisp users.
The documentation continues to be written.

The NiCORE persistent object system is essentially a subset of CLOS,
and may be of interest for non-web applications.  
It can be used independent of the web server as it is
distributed/packaged in the engineering release.


What is NiCLOS?

  NiCLOS is a new platform for quickly developing, deploying, and
evolving powerful and scalable web applications. Using a single
high-level dynamic persistent object language, the full range of
server-based web applications can be
developed and evolved quickly and easily.

  The key advantage of NiCLOS is the dynamic persistent object system,
which
  supports major changes in the application object structure after the
application has
  been deployed.

  NiCLOS has three tightly integrated components, the C{*filter*}te web
server, the
  SilkScript object language, and the NiCORE object database.



Mon, 15 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 ANN: NiCLOS Engineering Release now available

Quote:

> An early release of NiCLOS is now available at http://www.niclos.com
> It would be most helpful to get some feedback from the Lisp
> Community on the system before it gets released to non-Lisp users.
> The documentation continues to be written.

Looks intriguing... The only comment I have so far is that the calendar did
not work right for me when I clicked on a date.

Sunil



Mon, 15 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 ANN: NiCLOS Engineering Release now available

Quote:

> An early release of NiCLOS is now available at http://www.niclos.com
> It would be most helpful to get some feedback from the Lisp
> Community on the system before it gets released to non-Lisp users.
> The documentation continues to be written.

NOOO! This has the potential to become very popular, and
then we will be stuck developing NiCLOS-compatible stuff
with all those `elseif', `then', `do', `=', etc.

As I think you'll go anyway with this, you should put a big sign saying
`THIS IS NOT LISP', otherwise we'll have to deal with more people saying
that Lisp has a confusing (and now verbose) syntax.

Regards,



Tue, 16 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 ANN: NiCLOS Engineering Release now available

Quote:
> As I think you'll go anyway with this, you should put a big sign saying
> `THIS IS NOT LISP', otherwise we'll have to deal with more people saying
> that Lisp has a confusing (and now verbose) syntax.

Hmmm, I haven't seen "Lisp" mentioned on the site anywhere.  In fact I
rather think that KEM has learned the lesson of not calling things
Lisp, yet still providing Lisp in disguise.  See Dylan, or IIRC
Franz's adverts which called the technology Dynamic Objects, etc.

If we aren't going to go around accusing Dylan of confusing people
about the "true nature" of Lisp, we shouldn't be doing this with
NiCLOS either, IMHO.

(Not that I particularly like NiCLOS's syntax, although I find it
easier on the mind than e.g. Dylan's new syntax.  And I still think
that those who blame Lisp's syntax for it's non-acceptance are
essentially misguided, in that e.g. AutoLisp is probably more widely
used by non-{*filter*}-lispers than many other dialects, yet still has
the "horrible" Lisp syntax, and it even has a lot of other defects.)

BTW: The technology itself seems fairly interesting, and nice work.
And since the author of CL-HTTP seemingly isn't interested in wider
distribution of his work, maybe Lisp can make further impact in a {*filter*}
application area...

Regs, Pierre.

--

  "One smaller motivation which, in part, stems from altruism is Microsoft-
   bashing." [Microsoft memo, see http://www.*-*-*.com/ ]



Tue, 16 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 ANN: NiCLOS Engineering Release now available

Quote:


> > As I think you'll go anyway with this, you should put a big sign saying
> > `THIS IS NOT LISP', otherwise we'll have to deal with more people saying
> > that Lisp has a confusing (and now verbose) syntax.

> Hmmm, I haven't seen "Lisp" mentioned on the site anywhere.  In fact I
> rather think that KEM has learned the lesson of not calling things
> Lisp, yet still providing Lisp in disguise.  See Dylan, or IIRC
> Franz's adverts which called the technology Dynamic Objects, etc.

I know he never refers to it at Lisp. The problem is people who have
some vague notion of what Lisp looks like and will start spreading
misinformation.

Dylan is OK. The dropped syntax was indeed Lisp, and the one for dummies does
not look like Lisp at all.
Franz might call ACL whatever they want, but when it comes to the syntax, it's
for real.



Fri, 19 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 ANN: NiCLOS Engineering Release now available

Quote:
> I know he never refers to it at Lisp. The problem is people who have
> some vague notion of what Lisp looks like and will start spreading
> misinformation.

Well, then you should probably first get AutoCAD Lisp (and maybe Emacs
Lisp) destroyed and removed from the past, shouldn't you?  While both
of them exhibit (some parts of) normal Lisp syntax, they are in other
parts quite broken w.r.t. Common Lisp (i.e. dynamic scope, slow, even
sometimes case-sensitive).  I'd guess that contact with AutoCAD Lisp
has probably turned more newbies away from Lisp and confused more of
them about Lisp's nature than NiCLOS will probably ever get as
customers.

And McCarthy's Lisp 1.5, MacLisp and Interlisp should probably be
banned in retrospect as well...  And maybe we need to excorcize Common
Lisp's loop construct, too.  Oh, and if I see it correctly, then
NiCLOS' syntax can be/is achieved through a normal CL and the
read-table, so arguably, this is either Common Lisp syntax, or most
everyone should be banned from changing the read-table.

IMHO this whole deal about not giving misimpressions to the newbies is
ill-conceived.  We have far better areas to worry about, than this
small opportunity for misunderstanding.  Indeed, I'd think that if KEM
put up a large sign at the website, saying "This is NOT (Common)
Lisp", I think that _more_ people would get misimpressions about the
thinks that can be derived from NiCLOS w.r.t. Common Lisp[1].  And it
would thus probably harm both NiCLOS and Common Lisp more.

Regs, Pierre.

PS: I also think that Common Lisp has no right to set precedents for
what constitutes "Real Lisp Syntax(tm)".  Under these grounds loop
would never have happened, and now you need to support it to be "The
Real Thing!(tm)"?!?

Footnotes:
[1]  That is because those who are apt to draw wrong conclusions from
evidence, are mostly not thinking logically to begin with...

--

  "One smaller motivation which, in part, stems from altruism is Microsoft-
   bashing." [Microsoft memo, see http://www.opensource.org/halloween1.html]



Fri, 19 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 ANN: NiCLOS Engineering Release now available


Quote:
>I guess it needs to be repeated once again that Lisp is not a language,
>it is a family of languages.  Common Lisp is one of those (in fact,
>it has three varieties now: 1st and 2nd edition CL, and ANSI CL).
>Others include (in no particular order) Scheme, Emacs Lisp, Autolisp;
>Lisp 1.5, Maclisp, Interlisp, Zetalisp, *Lisp, Franz Lisp, Portable Lisp,
>etc.

Most of the non-Common Lisps still exist for a simple historical reason:
they predated Common Lisp, and there's lots of code that depends on them,
and/or there are programming communities that have grown around them.

However, it seems like a bad idea to invent a new dialect of Lisp at this
point.  Why not embed one of the existing, popular dialects rather than
needlessly branching off?

The only other dialect of Lisp that has been invented in recent years was
ISLisp.  It was created to solve a problem of international politics, not
for any good technical reason.

--

GTE Internetworking, Powered by BBN, Burlington, MA
*** DON'T SEND TECHNICAL QUESTIONS DIRECTLY TO ME, post them to newsgroups.
Please DON'T copy followups to me -- I'll assume it wasn't posted to the group.



Fri, 19 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 ANN: NiCLOS Engineering Release now available

Quote:

> The only other dialect of Lisp that has been invented in recent years was
> ISLisp.  It was created to solve a problem of international politics, not
> for any good technical reason.

Some might dispute this entirely.  Others might say you were missing
an "m" in the last line here.


Fri, 19 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 ANN: NiCLOS Engineering Release now available


Quote:

>> The only other dialect of Lisp that has been invented in recent years was
>> ISLisp.  It was created to solve a problem of international politics, not
>> for any good technical reason.

>Some might dispute this entirely.  Others might say you were missing
>an "m" in the last line here.

I'm sure they would.  I admit that my comment was probably a bit extreme,
for rhetorical purposes.

I still feel that new dialects should not be created on a whim.  Don't
create a new Lisp dialect just because you don't like the esthetics of IF
and backquote.  There should be a stronger reason to force people to learn
a new dialect and lose compatibility with an existing code base.  And
dialects that are "almost but not quite" like one of the existing dialects
are a big problem, IMHO -- programmers with experience in the the existing
dialect will easily lose track of the small number of differences.  If you
look at the Lisp family, you see vast differences between the popular
dialects, which makes sense (the more differences, the harder it is to port
existing software and expertise to some other dialect, so the old dialect
is hard to kill).

--

GTE Internetworking, Powered by BBN, Burlington, MA
*** DON'T SEND TECHNICAL QUESTIONS DIRECTLY TO ME, post them to newsgroups.
Please DON'T copy followups to me -- I'll assume it wasn't posted to the group.



Fri, 19 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 ANN: NiCLOS Engineering Release now available

Quote:


> > I know he never refers to it at Lisp. The problem is people who have
> > some vague notion of what Lisp looks like and will start spreading
> > misinformation.

> Well, then you should probably first get AutoCAD Lisp (and maybe Emacs
> Lisp) destroyed and removed from the past, shouldn't you?  While both
> of them exhibit (some parts of) normal Lisp syntax, they are in other
> parts quite broken w.r.t. Common Lisp (i.e. dynamic scope, slow, even
> sometimes case-sensitive).  I'd guess that contact with AutoCAD Lisp

There're are many (most old) lisps that are really broken, but
they don't violate the basic principle of Lisp syntax in general.
Neither elisp nor Autocad use things like:

(set <var> = <value>)



Sat, 20 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 ANN: NiCLOS Engineering Release now available

Quote:

>So this would mean ELisp and Autocad's Lisp are right, and we should destroy
>Common Lisp instead, which has violated this basic principle of Lisp syntax:

>(loop with <var> = <value>
>      for <var2> = (random <var>)
>      if (evenp <var2>) collect (/ <var2> 2) else collect (/ (1+ <var2>)))

CL didn't invent this, it inherited it from its progenitors (LOOP was
popularized under Maclisp).

--

GTE Internetworking, Powered by BBN, Burlington, MA
*** DON'T SEND TECHNICAL QUESTIONS DIRECTLY TO ME, post them to newsgroups.
Please DON'T copy followups to me -- I'll assume it wasn't posted to the group.



Sat, 20 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 ANN: NiCLOS Engineering Release now available
NiCLOS SilkScript supports Common Lisp syntax.
If you are a CL programmer, you can use CL syntax
to write NiCLOS web apps, i.e. (setf foo 10),
(if (eq foo 10) 20 30) (let ((bar 10)) ..)
(cond ((..) (..))).
In fact, I have backed-off syntactic changes
that are incompatible, such as balanced single quotes,
i.e.  (let x = 'foo'  ..)

But SilkScript is much MORE than just syntax differences.

In my view, 98% of web application developers do not know
Common Lisp, and thus SilkScript is specifically designed
to be a simpler language than CL that will be easier to document
and I predict easier to learn and become proficient with.
(Note that if you're selling CL, it makes sense to want
 the world to learn CL, but that is not our business.
 As a further note, why is it that there does not exist
 ANY CL third-party tools vendors?)

I don't think NiCLOS web apps need Complex Numbers, or Defstruct
or Deftype or Load or Compile-File or even Intern and Defpackage.
It would be a very bad business decision to throw copies
of ANSI Common Lisp manuals to our prospective developers
as documentation on how to develop web apps.
Lispers argue that Lisp is great for creating new
domain-specific languages -- that is what SilkScript is,
a web-app-specific language.

Notice that the CL Community already has CL-HTTP, which as far as I know
has not been very successful, despite being available for free
and including all the source code.

I would be most pleased if CL-compatibility is worth something
 --- show me CL programmers that are developing
commercial web applications that will pay for a NiCLOS license,
and I will continue to argue to my business partners why
we shouldn't have a VB or Java or Perl or TCL or XML extension language
in the server like other competing products in the marketplace.


Quote:



> >I guess it needs to be repeated once again that Lisp is not a language,
> >it is a family of languages.  Common Lisp is one of those (in fact,
> >it has three varieties now: 1st and 2nd edition CL, and ANSI CL).
> >Others include (in no particular order) Scheme, Emacs Lisp, Autolisp;
> >Lisp 1.5, Maclisp, Interlisp, Zetalisp, *Lisp, Franz Lisp, Portable Lisp,
> >etc.

> Most of the non-Common Lisps still exist for a simple historical reason:
> they predated Common Lisp, and there's lots of code that depends on them,
> and/or there are programming communities that have grown around them.

> However, it seems like a bad idea to invent a new dialect of Lisp at this
> point.  Why not embed one of the existing, popular dialects rather than
> needlessly branching off?

> The only other dialect of Lisp that has been invented in recent years was
> ISLisp.  It was created to solve a problem of international politics, not
> for any good technical reason.

> --

> GTE Internetworking, Powered by BBN, Burlington, MA
> *** DON'T SEND TECHNICAL QUESTIONS DIRECTLY TO ME, post them to newsgroups.
> Please DON'T copy followups to me -- I'll assume it wasn't posted to the group.



Sat, 20 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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