June 28, 2007

Lisp meeting in The Hague this Sunday

I am forwarding this announcement from Tayssir John Gabbour:

We're hosting a Lisp meeting in The Hague this Sunday. At least ten
people should be here, with a broad range of experiences and

For those interested in Lisp businesses, this meeting will be at the
offices of a growing Lisp-using company which already has multiple
commercial projects. You'll be able to see up-close what sorts of
issues arise. I personally hope that these meetings won't just be
episodic affairs, but offer a practical service to interested Lisp

To counterbalance boring business issues, Pascal Costanza is offering
an entertainingly philosophical talk about the history of reflection
and metaprogramming in the Lisp family. (If you were ever curious what
3-Lisp and its "infinite reflective tower" is all about, you'll no
doubt find this interesting.)

This is an informal meeting, so no registration is needed: feel free
to come as you wish, and I hope you enjoy it. If you need directions
or a hotel room, there's more info at: http://wiki.alu.org/BeNeLux.


June 25, 2007

AMOP at Google Book Search

While checking some links for my previous posting I have found out that Google Book Search provides the full text of The Art of Metaobject Protocol online. That's nice.

Classes in the Metaobject Protocol

Dr. Dobb's Portal has republished another classic Lisp article, again by Nick Bourbaki (a pseudonym of Richard Gabriel). It's an introduction to the CLOS Metaobject Protocol which is more technical than others I have read - so may be harder to understand for newbies - but at the same time provides more insight into some of the internal details of the CLOS MOP. Although this is an old article, it's very close to the actual CLOS MOP specification, with only one serious deviation as far as I can tell. The deviation is the fact that slot-value-using-class is specialized on slot names in that article, while they are actually specialized on slot definition metaobjects in the "real" CLOS MOP specification. The reason for this deviation is that for most of the time during the standardization of CLOS and its MOP, slot-value-using-class was indeed supposed to be specialized on slot names (like slot-unbound and slot-missing in ANSI Common Lisp), but that was changed only very late in the game before publication of The Art of the Metaobject Protocol.

Anyway, the information in that article is still valid, so I can recommend it.

June 03, 2007

Dr. Dobb's Classic Lisp Articles

Recently, I have noticed that the online version of Dr. Dobb's Journal published an article about multitasking in Common Lisp. What was weird to me was that it reads like a rather old article mentioning techniques that, if I understand correctly, were popular in the 1980's, and especially mentioning a Common Lisp implementation that has not been maintained for probably over a decade. So I asked around in comp.lang.lisp whether anyone had an idea what this was about.

Surprisingly, Jon Erickson, editor of Dr. Dobb's Journal, responded to that question and explained that they routinely get requests for classic articles that are 15-20 years old, and so they indeed regularly republish such articles from the past. Since they are responsible for the archives of a number of publications, such as AI Expert, C/C++ Users Journal, BYTE, and Computer Language, there are probably quite a few nuggets to be rediscovered here.

For example, earlier this year they have already published an article by Paul Graham about graphic objects, originally from 1988. Just yesterday, they have published a very interesting article by Nick Bourbaki about dynamic programming. Nick Bourbaki is actually Richard Gabriel's pseudonym that he used in some of his writings in the early 1990's - see Worse Is Better and also Nickieben Bourbaki.