[Lispweb] Mod_lisp 2.0 released

Marc Battyani marc.battyani at fractalconcept.com
Mon Jun 18 06:23:37 CDT 2001

Andrew K. Wolven <awolven at redfernlane.org> wrote :

> Dear Marc,
> I really appreciate your work on mod_lisp in that it helps give unix
> jockeys one
> less excuse for not using the highest quality standards in software
> engineering,
> namely ANSI Common Lisp and relatives.  However, I think that the design
> reasons
> that you have described above are full of hot air and that's why you
> have to add
> steel cables to keep your balloon from floating off.  You are adding an
> extra
> layer of sockets and the protocol to go with it which only forces a lisp
> hacker
> to have to waste time learning/administrating Apache/mod_lisp in
> addition to
> programming/administrating a lisp [application] server.  (and will
> probably make
> the response time of your http request go up by 20% or so on average)  I
> happen
> to believe strongly, as well as have evidence based on government work
> experience, that people that stack engineering on top of buzzwords are
> doomed.
> If you must offload your static data to an Apache server for
> performance/admin/political or other reasons, you don't need a backdoor
> connection to the server since the browser can connect to the static
> content
> server directly.  Simply have your lisp [application] server emit the
> correct
> url to the static content.  I seem to remember this debate from a while
> back and
> it seemed fresh and dandy then, but now that I have had time to mull
> over it and
> run some live sites, I have to say 'wait a minute'.

Hi Andrew,

Your argumentation is flawed.

Why do you want to draw the separation line between Lisp an the rest of the
world at the HTTP level ? HTTP is very very small layer of the whole. If you
pursue your quest for programming purity you have to write your TCP/IP stack
in Lisp, then your OS in Lisp and finally your Lisp processor in VHDL (or
better, you can write a Lisp to logic gates compiler in Lisp). So what ? I'm
sorry to be the one who have to tell you that, but it has been done before
and, sadly, I don't see Lisp Hardware/OS/Applications everywhere.

In the real world BASIC, Java/C#/Python/perl and C/C++ rule. And that world
is buzzword driven.

The purpose of mod_lisp is very simple: It's a tool to enable me and other
to earn money while writing software in Lisp. I don't have the time nor the
will to convince a dummy sys-admin or web-master (who don't even know the
Lisp word) of a company to let me use Lisp to write an application for them.
So I tell these guys that it's an Apache server with _scripting_ in Lisp.
Yes "scripting".

BTW, to go back to technical topics, I'm pretty sure the mod_lisp way scales
better than a Lisp only one.
It's not only for "unix jockeys" as it works also on Win32.
It's much easier to use mod_lisp than CL-HTTP.
And the static content is obviously served directly by Apache.


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