diary at Telent Netowrks

I've been lax updating this thing given the amount of stuff I#

Fri, 12 Jul 2002 15:09:22 +0000

I've been lax updating this thing given the amount of stuff I potentially could have been saying in it lately. So, where are we?

We are at the Libre Software Meeting 2002, in the Very high-level languages for writing applications topic. The rationale here, according to the programme - look, if you would only go and read the programme, it would save me from having to paraphrase it like this - is that the kernel is done, so now we need to write applications, and we need these very high-level languages if we're going to finish the job in timescales that the human brain can relate to. Just ask any Mozilla developer.

In fact (as you can reasonably infer from the schedule) it's all a thinly-veiled plot to get many free Common Lisp developers together in the same place. Works For Me. So we've spent the last few days discussing things like garbage collection, coping with special (a.k.a dynamically-bound) variables during multithreading, packaging, bug tracking, etc etc). And, as is often the case where two or more lisp implementors are gathered in the same room, the very high-level languages we've actually ended up using are C and x86 assembler. Yeah. Um. Christophe is sitting next to me working on floating point trap handling (see also the previous attempts to tackle this), Eric Marsden was - until an hour ago when he went to catch his train - poring over trace files to figure out why his CMUCL "small" images no longer worked, and I am watching SBCL build with a new design of non-invasive stack overflow handling. Currently it can non-invasively detect stack overflow, but it can't actually recover from same, which makes it a bit useless. Cargo cult programming is not a sane or sensible way to write x86 assembler glue.

And we've had some talks too, of which more some other time.