[Lispweb] Mod_lisp 2.0 released

Bruce ONeel beoneel at mindspring.com
Wed Jun 20 10:22:55 CDT 2001

First all, some thanks go out to the kind folks at
fractalconcept.com for mod_lisp.  It's nice, and it might
help us use lisp in new areas.

I did have some comments on the concept of a pure lisp solution
vs using other systems though.

For 95% of my portion of our shop we are a pure lisp solution 
with 65+  TI Lisp machines running production jobs.  We would 
love to run a lisp web server but that would be a disaster on 
these systems, if for no other reason than the TCP/IP
implimentation does not deal with high loads.  They get
real flaky after about a half dozen connections at the 
same time.   Still, a web server would be nice both
for the customer as well as for us to debug remotely 
from home etc.  Oh yea, it's a requirement from above...

Something like mod_lisp lets us keep using lisp while at
the same time drawing on others in the company who 
already know and run the web servers using apache.  It
also gives us CYA (cover your backside) protection when
someone starts screaming, ie, lisp is not the first thing 
which catches the blame.   That and most of the unixy
TCP/IP implimentations are well debugged at high loads
and Apache doesn't choke with high and variable
loads either.

The other nice bit of company infrastructure something
such as mod_lisp lets us draw on is that we already have
a nice computer room with nice servers and nice operators
to babysit them.  Running under apache (or similiar) lets us
take advantage of that so that *I* don't have to give up
my weekends to babysit, just when things go very wrong.

Would I love a pure lisp solution?  Of course.  Would I love it
if my company used Lisp for everything?  Of course.  But, 
they don't and they are too big to change.  Still, a comprimise 
is not all bad.  We continue to use lisp for what lisp does very 
well (what?  You want a change in the next 20 mins?  ok, it 
will be done)  (Oh, you have 35 different slightly ugly and 
somewhat random cases here, not too big of a problem.  
Oh right, the user can mistype the line in 
addition.  In French or German even when the standard says they should use 
english.) while pushing off to others  the bits  that they do well is not a 
bad comprimise at all.

That, and to be honest, I don't really want to spend time debugging
why TCP/IP hangs once in a while on the TIs. :-)

Thanks again.



Bruce O'Neel <beoneel at mindspring.com> -- XML and Squeak.  
LWxml, a light weight XML parser in Squeak
XML Journal http://homepage.iprolink.ch/~bioneel/beo/beo.html

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