From: ·······
Subject: LISP
Message-ID: <NETMAILR11011010351SEB1525@MVS.DRAPER.COM>
On 7 Jan 91 18:36:32 GMT "Jonathan H. Young" <·····> said:

>Are there any Mainframe CommonLisp implementations out there?  I know
>about KCL and VaxLisp; I was hoping for something with better
>performance and perhaps commercial support.
>Pointers to an on-line listing would also be welcome.
>Thanks in advance.
>                                --- Jonathan

I don't know if you're referring to an IBM or DEC mainframe, or if
you're referring to MVS or VM if it's IBM.  However, here's the
situation as far as IBM mainframes go.

On VM... I think Lucid may have a CL for VM, but I'm not sure.
I certainly expect them to be working on it.  IBM used to market
a product called Lisp/VM (out of the Watson Research Center in Yorktown)
which wasn't a Common Lisp, and didn't last long.

On MVS... Lucid markets Common Lisp for this platform.  It used to be
an IBM product (though it was still Lucid's compiler) until a year or
so ago when IBM withdrew it due to inability to interest customers.
It's a huge product that requires a network of PC's and user licences
to operate (the requirement for PC's running Microsoft Windows may be
obsolete with V2 of the product).

Here at Draper Lab we run an internally developed MVS Lisp (called
"Zil") on our IBM ES/9000 (formerly 3090).  It's not 100% Common Lisp,
but is close enough, and also has some Maclisp features.  ZIL features
assembler-coded bignums, a compiler that does source transforms, FLAVORS
for object-oriented programming, and support for invoking TSO commands
and ISPF services from within Lisp.  Debugging support is minimal - it
has TRACE and it will display the control stack when an error occurs,
and that's about it.  For an editor, it uses the ISPF editor (if ISPF is

The Maclisp compatibility was required for DOE-Macsyma, which we ported
to MVS from the VAX NIL version.  It's arguably the fastest Macsyma
running, and has been in full production here for use by our engineers
and scientists.  (We also have OPS5 running under Zil on MVS.)

The garbage collector is a combination of mark-and-sweep and
stop-and-copy, and also utilized the 3090 Vector Facility when we had
one.  The entire system exploits MVS/XA, using memory above the
16-megabyte line.  Zil runs in foreground using TSO on plain IBM 3270
terminals, or in batch via JCL.

Making Zil available outside of Draper depends on the level of interest
(which isn't very high for IBM mainframes).  Boston University is one
site which has a test copy on their 3090's VPS operating system.

I hope this answers your question.

                              - Steve Bacher
                              - Charles Stark Draper Laboratory
                              - Cambridge, MA