November 06, 2002
MCL 5.0 Beta Available Now

The beta version of MCL 5.0 is now available at the discounted price of $495. It includes a free upgrade to the final version, expected in January, and there are educational discounts.

You can read the release notes.

If you're curious what it looks like, here's a screenshot in which I threw every dialog I could think of onto the screen (I've also got Terje Norderhaug's Appearance Manager stuff loaded, which upgrades the look of the controls a bit):

mcl 5.0 beta screenshot

The visual appearance of the beta is an odd mixture of lickable OS X widgets and monochrome system 7-era controls. I expect this will change over time (as Terje's code shows).

Posted by jjwiseman at November 06, 2002 07:26 PM

Oh, interesting... it looks like they're charging for application delivery. As I read it, they're still cheaper than Lispworks as far as commercial lisps for business go, and lots cheaper than ACL.

(This is just the way I think of these things these days. Not sure what that means.)

ACL and Lispworks both have free "personal" editions, though. But then there's OpenMCL...

Posted by: Michael Hannemann on November 6, 2002 09:53 PM

Hmm. Maybe they just don't want people distributing stuff built with the beta?

Darn, still can't really afford the student edition. Maybe after the next grant check.

Posted by: Michael Hudson on November 7, 2002 06:08 AM

You got the Pop-Ups wrong. You are using old
System 9 stuff. I use the new Pop-Ups... native MacOS X...

Posted by: Rainer Joswig on November 8, 2002 10:39 AM

Virgin MCL has monochrome 2D pop-up menus. when I load appearance-manager, I get the Mac OS 8 style platinum pop-ups. What do I have to do to get OS X style?

Posted by: jjwiseman on November 8, 2002 10:47 AM

don't load platinum popups. What is the value of ccl::*use-pop-up-control* ?

Posted by: Rainer Joswig on November 8, 2002 11:32 AM

NIL. Setting it to T does give me nice Aqua pop up menus, thanks.

Posted by: jjwiseman on November 8, 2002 07:19 PM

You should take a picture of that (the Aqua pop-up menus enabled) and put it side by side with the earlier screenshot.

Posted by: Dan Moniz on November 10, 2002 01:09 AM

dnm: Yeah, good idea.

sven: Hopefully I'll have a chance to do that soon.

Posted by: jjwiseman on November 11, 2002 02:38 AM

Hi folks,

I have bought the beta and I am quite happy with it, though I am still exploring LISP and have so many things to learn yet.

I have made some (superficial) benchmark comparisons and found out that MCL had *very* good scores ranks compared to Allegro CL (personal), which I was going to buy (but it's too expansive).

Actually, I was wondering how I can get syntactic font colorization in Fred. I like Fred because it's keybindings are well suited to my french iBook keyboard, and that they are just like Emacs', I only miss font-colorization a lot. If the font-colorization is not available, is it then possible to control MCL from Emacs? Emacs Carbon 21.3.50 is pretty well usable now!

Last but not least, I was also wondering how can I launch a MCL image from a shell. Do anyone think it is possible to use MCL as a command-line (window-less) tool? I would like to run it on remote servers.

Thanks for your enlightenment,

Posted by: Camille on December 4, 2002 05:41 PM

Hi and Thanks jjwiseman !

I actually found a colorization scheme (which may be the one you are talking about) and plenty of cool stuff in Digitool's FTP site.

Concerning the trick, sure you can start the executable if the application has an application wrapper (, but MCL doesn't seem to have because it an application generated with the JOY utility (I presume by looking at MCL app file's `head`, but I am no sure).

I think that it is a shame that on Mac OS X which has a great Unix environment, it is not possible to launch MCL 5.0 as a simple command line tool. I understand that Digitool has lots of work by porting their product to MOSX, and that MCL 4 relied a lot on private OS {7,8,9} stuff.

I'll try to ask info-mcl gurus, if they have an idea how to do it.

Concerning OpenMCL, I have tried and I plan to use it. This give a good alternative to MCL but lacks of stability (though it runs pretty well for development purposes). I was very surprised to see that the "disassemble" code generated by OpenMCL was *exactly* the same as MCL !

Thanks again for all your hints,

Posted by: Camille on December 5, 2002 01:36 AM

I'm curious: what instability did you experience with OpenMCL ?

Posted by: Gary Byers on December 9, 2002 02:35 AM

Hi Gary,

I would like to post a screenshot, but this is unfortunately not possible.

I ran the example "Borg Ship". Then, I zoomed the window (dragging the down-right corner of the window), and unexpectedly had, instead of the background texture a view of my desktop!

In another example (the "Apocalypse Now" sample), when you launch the example, it is impossible to move the window. If you type on the "ESC" key, the example runs. After closing the window (the red upper left button), MCL had a segfault.

It would be interesting to reproduce this problem on another platform. I am using an iBook + ATI Rage 128 with Mac OS X 10.2.2.


Posted by: Camille on December 9, 2002 12:39 PM

This isn't necessarily the best forum for discussing OpenMCL bugs (as I may have pointed out myself from time to time.)

In this case, I do have to ask: what is the "Borg Ship" sample, what is the "Apocalypse Now" sample, and are you sure that it's OpenMCL (which is generally GUI-less and does not distribute similarly-named samples) that you're having these problems with ?

Genuinely curious (and sorry if this is wandering a little too far off-topic.)

Posted by: Gary Byers on December 9, 2002 06:12 PM
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