WCL: Delivering Efficient Common Lisp Applications Under Unix

Abstract for paper presented at the 1992 ACM CONFERENCE ON LISP AND FUCTIONAL PROGRAMMING in San Francisco June 22-24.

Wade Hennessey, Center for Design Research, Stanford University


Common Lisp implementations for Unix have traditionally provided a rich development environment at the expense of an inefficient delivery environment. The goal of WCL is to allow hundreds of Lisp applications to be realistically available at once, while allowing several of them to run concurrently. WCL accomplishes this by providing Common Lisp as a Unix shared library that can be linked with Lisp and C code to produce efficient applications. For example, the executable for a Lisp version of the canonical ``Hello World!'' program requires only 49k bytes under SunOS 4.1 for SPARC. WCL also supports a full development environment, including dynamic file loading and debugging. A modified version of the GDB, the GNU Debugger, is used to debug WCL programs, providing support for mixed language debugging. The techniques used in WCL should also be applicable to other high-level languages that allow runtime mappings from names to objects.

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see also

Common Lisp (the book) by Wade L. Hennessey