Sunday, October 19, 2008

New schedule for Lisp50

Unfortunately, John McCarthy will not be present at Lisp50 due to severe health issues. However, there will be a live phone interview with John McCarthy during this event. The schedule has slightly changed because of this.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Lisp50 schedule is now available

Location: Nashville Convention Center (co-located with OOPSLA 2008)

Room: 204

Date: Monday, October 20, 2008

More information: Lisp50 website


8:30-9:15  Guy Steele and Richard Gabriel: The Evolution of Lisp
9:15-10:00  JonL White: From Massively Monster Machines to MicroChips - Forces Affecting Lisp Language Design through Five Decades
10:00-10:30  Coffee Break
10:30-11:15  Herbert Stoyan: Lisp 50 years ago - what the documents tell
11:15-12:00  Alan Kay interviews John McCarthy
12:00-13:30  Lunch Break
13:30-14:15  Fritz Kunze: Careening through Lisp mind fields
14:15-15:00   Pascal Costanza: ContextL - Adding support for Context-oriented Programming to Common Lisp
15:00-15:30   Coffee Break
15:30-16:15   Warren Teitelman: Transforming Lisp into a Programming Environment
16:15-17:00   Kent Pitman: Common Lisp - The Untold Story
17:00-17:30   Break
17:30-18:15   William Clinger: Retrospective on Scheme
18:15-19:00   Rich Hickey: Clojure, a new dialect of Lisp
19:00-20:00   Panel Discussion: The Future of Lisp

The following panelists will discuss the next 50 years of Lisp at the panel discussion:

  • William Clinger, Northeastern University, USA

  • Rich Hickey, Independent Consultant, USA

  • Kent Pitman, HyperMeta Inc., USA

  • Martin Simmons, LispWorks Ltd., UK

  • Daniel Weinreb, ITA Software, USA (moderator)

Friday, October 10, 2008

William Clinger will speak at Lisp50

William Clinger
William D Clinger first encountered Lisp in 1975, in a course on automatic theorem proving. He has been at Northeastern University since 1994, where most of his research involves the design, specification, and implementation of functional or higher-order languages. He contributed to several of the defining reports on Scheme, wrote the compilers for two implementations, and invented efficient algorithms for hygienic macro expansion, accurate decimal-to-binary conversions, and bounded-latency generational garbage collection.

Retrospective on Scheme
Scheme began as a sequential implementation of the Actor model, from which Scheme acquired its proper tail recursion and first class continuations; other consequences of its origins include lexical scoping, first class procedures, uniform evaluation, and a unified environment. As Scheme developed, it spun off important new technical ideas such as delimited continuations and hygienic macros while enabling research in compilers, semantics, partial evaluation, and other areas. Dozens of implementations support a wide variety of users and aspirations, exerting pressure on the processes used to specify Scheme.

Pascal Costanza will speak at Lisp50

Pascal Costanza
Pascal Costanza has a Ph.D. degree from the University of Bonn, Germany, and works as a research assistant at the Programming Technology Lab of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium. His past involvements include specification and implementation of the languages Gilgul and Lava, and the design and application of the JMangler framework for load-time transformation of Java class files. He has also implemented ContextL, the first programming language extension for Context-oriented Programming based on CLOS, and aspect-oriented extensions for CLOS. He is furthermore the initiator and lead of Closer, an open source project that provides a compatibility layer for the CLOS MOP across multiple Common Lisp implementations.

ContextL: Adding support for Context-oriented Programming to Common Lisp
There is an increased need for applications that can dynamically adjust their behavior to the context of use. Three years ago, we have introduced ContextL as an extension to Common Lisp, our first language extension that explicitly supports Context-oriented Programming (COP). In COP, programs consist of partial class and method definitions that can be selected and composed at runtime as needed. Employing potentially crosscutting runtime adaptations to class and method definitions, COP encourages continually adjusting behavior of programs according to their context.

Since then, we have carried out a number of successful application and language experiments which show that the basic building blocks of COP remain stable. Among others, we have implemented multiple context-dependent views, coordination of screen updates, context-dependent discerning of phone calls, and selecting context-dependent billing schemes. We have also taken first steps towards the design and requirements engineering stages for context-aware applications.

On the one hand, this talk introduces the basic language constructs for COP, shows some non-trivial examples, and some promising next steps in the field of COP currently being undertaken in several research groups. On the other hand, this talk will also illustrate how much easier it is to implement non-trivial language extensions, such as ContextL, in Lisp than in other languages, not only as a basis for a research platform, but also for frameworks that are used in large-scale industrial settings.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Warren Teitelman will speak at Lisp50

Warren Teitelman
Dr. Warren Teitelman received his B.S. in Mathematics from CalTech in 1962, and his M.S. in 1963 and Ph.D. in 1966 from M.I.T., there being no program in computer science at M.I.T. at that time. He joined Bolt Beranek and Newman in 1966, where, as DARPA principal investigator, he was responsible for the design, implementation, and support of BBN-Lisp. He left BBN in 1972 to join Xerox PARC where he continued as DARPA principal investigator now responsible for Interlisp. Interlisp pioneered many of the concepts and functionality of modern IDEs (integrated development environment).

For this work, he received the ACM Software Systems Award for 1993: "For pioneering work in programming environments that integrated source-language debuggers, fully compatible integrated interpreter/compiler, automatic change management, structure-based editing, logging facilities. Interactive graphics, and analysis/profiling tools in the Interlisp System."

Dr. Teitelman left Xerox Parc in 1984, and joined Sun Microsystems where he was a Distinguished Engineer and Director of Window Systems, responsible for SunWindows, Sunview, Open Windows, XView, Open Look Toolkit, News, X11-News server, The News Toolkit. In 1990, he became Sun's Director of Multimedia.

He left Sun in 1992, and after brief stints at Rational Corporation - Director of C++ Development Environment, Lucid Corporation - Vice President of Engineering, and Caere Corporation - Vice President of Engineering, he joined BayStone Software in 1995 as VP of Engineering and CTO. BayStone was acquired by Remedy Corporation in 1998. He joined Google in 2003.

Transforming Lisp into a Programming Environment
Dr. Teitelman was first introduced to Lisp during his graduate studies at M.I.T. He wrote the software portion of his dissertation using Lisp 1.5. on MIT's CTSS (Compatible Time Sharing System). As a result of that experience, he became interested in transforming Lisp from a programming language into a programming environment. His talk will describe this passage which covered the years 1966 - 1980, and saw the introduction of many innovative features, such as history, spelling correction and undo, analysis and profiling tools, integrated interpreter and compiler, the first Lisp-based client-server window system, and more.

JonL White will speak at Lisp50

JonL White
White (a.k.a. "JonL") was first instructed in the way of computers--of numeric and symbolic computation--whilst in High School at a special "University" school associated with the Illinois state university system. The year, coincidentally, was 1958. He and a fellow mathematics student were subsequently hired by the University Computer Lab, where they jointly wrote code for the IBM 650, and actually developed a working compiler for next machine, the IBM1620. JonL received a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Carnegie-Mellon University, and a Masters in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University; after he had completed all the requirements of the Ph.D. program (ABD), he took a leave of absence to work at the MIT AI Lab in the fall of 1969. During the next few years, he advanced the state of Lisp development in many ways, and supervised numerous part-time undergraduates who assisted in the work, such as: Hillary Orman, Richard Stallman, Guy Steele, Eric Rosen, and Stavros Macrakis.

During the year 1977 he took a sabbatical leave to work at IBM's Watson Research Laboratories on the Lisp/370 project there, and returned to MIT the next year to head up the NIL project (NIL: a "New Implementation of Lisp.") By early 1980, he had distributed PDP-10 Maclisp to about five dozen other University sites (most with "AI" research groups.) After a meeting in April 1980 with the government agency mainly involved in AI research funding, JonL, Dick Gabriel, Scott Fahlman, and Guy Steele (by then at CMU, and involved with Gabriel at LLL) observed that the aforesaid four were involved in at least four different Lisp systems going in "five different directions"; in short order, they instituted a movement to coalesce efforts into a common direction. A bit later, after Dave Moon joined the conversations, the effort got a name: "Common Lisp."

JonL has played a signal part in the Association of Lisp Users, from the second conference hosted by this group -- the Lisp Users and Vendors Conference, 1991 in San Diego where he was the conference chair. Later he was elected to the Board of Directors of the ALU, and served as Program Chair for the International Lisp Conferences 2005 and 2007. He also played a significant part in the ANS Standardisation of Common Lisp, taking place between 1987-1994; he authored the LOOP proposal, and contributed to the Compilation and CLOS subcommittees.

From Massively Monster Machines to MicroChips: Forces Affecting Lisp Language Design through Five Decades
This talk will explore some of the constraints imposed by the character of computer hardware on Lisp's design over the past half-century, as well as being shaped by research goals. It will be presented mostly as an account by someone who was both an eyewitness and a protagonist in the struggle to create a better programming language. Even his own background as an undergraduate and graduate student (at CMU and Harvard respectively) seems to be relevant: for example, frustration with the use of IPL-V in AI classes at CMU, with the use of COMIT at Harvard to code up an Algebraic Simplification project (having no Lisp then!) And interestingly, a major influence of metamathematics shows up in his work on Lisp, giving rise to the notion that "Numbers are Symbols Too." A strong graduate education in mathematics had substantial influences on the ways he approached most significant issues in the use of, and the design of, Lisp -- in directions that often differed from his contemporaries. More specific topics to be discussed in a historical context: the unique, long-lasting alterations and additions to early lisp he made at MIT in the late 1960's and early 1970's time frame, the standardisation process for ANS Lisp, and the evolution of Lisp vendors during the two decades beginning in 1980.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fritz Kunze will speak at Lisp50

Fritz Kunze
Fritz Kunze co-founded Franz Incorporated and served as its CEO for 23 years.

Careening through Lisp mind fields
An excursionary romp through the last 20 odd years of history of the Lisp community. Some hopefully measured and neutral observations about the strengths and weaknesses of resources within the Lisp Community. Colorful stories told from a unique perspective and coupled with opinions on what might be possible going forward.