April 14, 2004

“I've never built a lisp package that was more complicated to build than DEFSYSTEM utilities are to use.” -- Gary Byers, on the openmcl-devel mailing list.

I sympathize.

Posted by jjwiseman at April 14, 2004 10:15 AM

I noticed this too and I don't agree. I'm pretty new to all of this defsystem crap, but it seems to me that building packages has always been of the most difficult aspects of using LISP in quasi-realworld settings. I say quasi-realword to differentiate from real-world applications with experienced, trained teams and the time/energy to build homegrown policies/procedures for building/loading/etc... the needed bits of code.

But my point is that ASDF seems to make all of this pretty straightforward, at least on OpenMCL. It's still not ./configure --prefix=/moose ; make ; make install , but it's much better than the alternatives, AFAICT.

I asked Gary if he meant MK:DEFSYSTEM in particular or it and its cousins (ASDF, etc...). I think he said he meant all of these kinds of systems. It seems to me that the alternative to using defsystem-style approaches (building by hand?) may be easy for the person who has all the bits in their head but difficult for others to reproduce. Am I missing something obvious here?

For what I'm doing, which falls somewhere in the vast gulf between (defun helloworld ...) and a full-on commercial project, ASDF rocks.

Posted by: Cyrus Harmon on April 14, 2004 10:48 AM
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