January 21, 2006
Lisp on the New Macs
Bill Bradford discovers that on the new Intel-based iMac, clisp (maybe) and ABCL may be the only Lisp options. I don't think anyone has tried either ACL or MCL yet, but the odds of either working seem slim.
Gary Byers explains why OpenMCL won't run under the Rosetta emulator (with more details in this message), but says that Clozure has a contract to port OpenMCL to x86-64 Linux, which would get some of the way toward an OS X-on-Intel port.
SBCL doesn't seem to have anyone working on a port yet. I don't think either Franz or LispWorks has said anything publically about a potential port. And Digitool's situation may be somewhat dire—is their best bet (only bet?) to backport future OpenMCL work?
Posted by jjwiseman at January 21, 2006 02:30 PM
Someone at lispworks confirmed that it will be running on Rosetta but a patch will be needed.
I think a lot of people, myself included, went Mac because they wanted a Unix that had nice display (fonts), where the (especially laptop) hardware worked, etc. and if they could have gotten this from Linux they would have.
What I may wind up doing when I get an Intel Mac is do all my desktop-type stuff on the Mac side, but run a Linux in a VM (VMWare would be idiots to not release a Mac version) and run SBCL or CMUCL in the Linux, either run Slime in the Mac emacs or just run a Linux emacs as well.
There are no plans for MCL to run on x86. However it is Digitool policy to not communicate with lisp users.
In August 2005 Digitool posted this in info-mcl:
"We are planning to do the work required for the switch to
Intel processors. It's too early for an estimated schedule.
So what is the current reality? Anybody know what's happening to Digitool?
MCL/Digitool says the are working on it, but Rosetta seems a real problem. Franz Lisp (allegro 8.0) and SBCL seem the only alternatives at the moment. My hopes are on MCL.