Forwarding Address: OS X

Friday, February 08, 2002

I swear, sometimes y'all conspire against me. Here Cory and Chris were, having a nice playful conversation about Mac RAD tools, and I indulged my better side in not joining the fray to rave about Lisp. Then John Wiseman (hi John!) goes and does what I might have done in my younger, more rash days, and emails Cory about Macintosh Common Lisp. Cory mails me and says hey, this is right up your alley! Why don't you blog this? Sigh.

Fine. Have it your way.

As far as I'm concerned, there is no better (for highly subjective values of "better") programming language on Earth right now than the Lisp family of languages, and in that realm, Macintosh Common Lisp stands out as a beacon of software development tool goodness. An Axis of Perfection, as The Prez might say. I've been waiting forever and a day for Digitool, the makers of MCL, to finally release a native (read: Carbon) version of MCL for OSX but so far, no dice. You can run the latest released version under Classic, but who wants that? Digitool is legendary for being lethargic in updating their website, despite the tens of dozens of screaming Mac and Lisp freaks out there who love their product. And the pricing scheme is a bit goofy, but I can ignore that mostly because the product rocks so hard.

On the other hand, some of the principals of Digitool did start up the OpenMCL project back in the Summer of 2001, which lets you run a ported MCL core engine under LinuxPPC. John didn't mention it in his email to Cory, but his Lisp Porn website also mentions the gone-but-not-forgotten Dylan language and IDE as well, which is another killer dev suite spawned from several chief Lisp freaks at CMU and Apple in the early-to-mid-90s. And FWIW, the Project Builder and Interface Builder tools you get for free in Apple's Developer Tools kit are evolved versions of the same killer tools from NextStep Developer, as is WebObjects. Who says old technology is no good? I'm looking forward to writing software that'll work on my OSX Pismo PowerBook, my Turbo Color Next slab, and on Linux, BSD, etc. with GNUstep.