In article <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark A
Try as I might not to reply to this, I just can't resist. I admit it, I'm weak.
> Erik Naggum (email@example.com) wrote:
> : the Lisp Machines died for reasons totally unrelated to quality. actually,
> : they died for the same reason that mind-bogglingly inferior systems won.
> : the answer is a single word: "marketing".
> I don't think this is true... Lisp machines died because their
> functionality was supplanted by other more general purpose machines.
Exactly what functionality is it that can't be implemented on a LispM?
Word processing? email? IMHO Eric is right, LispMs died to to
marketing. Marketing is more than just advertisements in newspapers and
magazines. Where marketing did in the LispM was in not getting
applications developed for the LispM, not pricing LispMs competively with
Suns and in selling LispMs as "Special Purpose Machines", ie. not "General
> Example: My former roomate (mid-80's) was a chip designer. He had
> two giant systems on his desk, a lisp machine (TI Explorer?) and
> an Apollo. He was always complaining about how inconvenient it
> was that part of his work was done on the lisp machine (chip design)
> and that the rest was done on the Apollo (word processing, email,
> manufacturing apps). When their software group was able to port
> their applications to the same box their other applications ran
> on, they dropped the lisp machine without hesitation.
> In other words: Marketing didn't kill lisp machines... Good lisp
> environments that ran on general-purpose computers killed
> lisp machines.
Not that I have seen it all, and I won't make any generalization here, but
*I* have yet to use a Lisp development environment that supported me as
well as Symbolics Genera did, and we're talking 15 year old technology
here! If it were practical for me to use Genera right now, I would. I
suspect that I'm not alone in feeling this way.