From: gupta
Subject: Re: LISP 2
Message-ID: <>
In article <···@odi.ODI.COM> ··· writes:
>By the way, the idea of alternative Lisp syntaxes is not new.  There
>was once an attempt to define such a thing, at MIT, way before my
>time, called "Lisp 2".  It was so long ago that I have never been able
>to find any real documentation on it.  I believe the effort to define
>it was abandoned for some reason.  One of the subsequent attempts at ...

The following is an aside from the debate about syntax-issues etc. but
may be interesting to "Lispers" ...
I quote from John McCarthy in History of Lisp (ACM Sigplan Notices Aug 1978) :-

  As a programming language Lisp had many limitations.  Some of the most 
  evident in the early 1960's were ultra-slow numerical computation,
  inability to represent objects by blocks of registers and garbage
  collect the blocks and lack of a good system for input-output of
  symbolic expressions in conventional notations.  All these problems and
  others were to be fixed in Lisp 2.  
  The Lisp 2 project was a collaboration of Systems Development Corporation
  and Information International Inc. and was initially planned for the Q32
  computer, built by IBM ...  The project proved more expensive than expected,
  the collaboration proved more difficult than expected and so Lisp 2
  was dropped.  From a 1970's point of view, this was regrettable, because 
  much more money has since been spent to develop Lisps with fewer features.

Read the article, for many many more comments on the development of Lisp from
1958 to 1962.

Ashok "Ash" Gupta
Post  : Philips Research Labs, Crossoak Lane, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 5HA, U.K.
Voice : +44 293 785544 
email : ·····
From: Dan Weinreb
Subject: Re: LISP 2
Message-ID: <392@odi.ODI.COM>
Thank you for the clarification.  I was wrong about Lisp 2's being at
MIT.  However, both of the cited companies (SDC and Triple-I) had very
strong links to MIT.  Triple-I, in fact, used Lisp for real production
of commercial stills and animation, including the feature film, Tron.
Tron had little artistic merit, but I enjoyed watching a movie part
of whose source code I had read and which was written in Lisp.