February 05, 2004
The Future Was Then: Grady Booch on Development Environments
Grady Booch at EclipseCon, as quoted by Bill Clementson:
For those of you looking at the future of development environments, I encourage you to go back and review some of the Xerox documentation for InterLisp-D.
Bill Clementson's weblog has been standing out from the crowd (“crowd”, heh) lately.
Posted by jjwiseman at February 05, 2004 10:06 AM
Over the past winter break (ahh, the joys of being a student :)) I decided to read Stephen Kaisler's "INTERLISP : the language and its usage," and I did, pretty much start to finish. The first thing that comes to mind, is how much stuff Common Lisp got right (for example, Interlisp has no less than _14_ distinct function types (this does include macros, though, and a couple of types are specific to Interlisp-D)). On the other hand, all versions of Interlisp (the book mentions two more besides D: Interlisp/370, which ran on the IBM 370 whatever machine, and Interlisp-20, I think, which ran on TENEX) had quite sophisticated Smalltalk-like system image facilities. All of them also had a portable program referencing (like XREF but better, and I suppose also like what Genera has) facility called Masterscope. I haven't tried it out myself yet, but from Brian's video the Interlisp-D Sedit looks like a nice editor. The portable, non-screen editor described in the book, is on the other hand a lot closer to an interactive ed. Another nice thing were the undoable assignment functions (though this system could be greatly simplified and generalized in Common Lisp (thanks in no small part to setf) - Screamer does something very much like this, and I have a half-written system that does this that I haven't found any reason to use). Then again, there's CLISP (Conversational LISP) - what were these people smoking? :) The book is overall informative and well written, and definitely describes some good ideas.