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LABORATORY FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE - AI LAB
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
545 Technology Square, Room 834
Cambridge MA 02139
June 6, 1977
To all you winners[?] out there in TOPS-10 land!
Here's the latest news according to MACLISP.
***BIBOP*** is finally here!!!
As usual, the next few paragraphs rehash the same old introductions,
but later on there are some changes because of the introduction of a
BIBOP storage strategy for all you TOPS-10 winners. Following, at the
end of this letter is listing of the files on this tape, and all files
on our DECSYS; directory should go onto your SYS: device for the
proper operation of the AUTOLOAD feature.
Just a short note about notational conventions I commonly use,
and about those used here at the AI Lab:
1) All numbers are in octal [base 8.] unless postfixed by a period,
in which case they are in decimal. The word "block" means one
TOPS-10 page, i.e., 0.5K of memory. numbers typed at the
initial ALLOC of LISP will ordinarily be in octal, and the
meaning for the various allocations will be words of core.
2) Angle brackets are a meta-linguistic device, used to enclose a
description for some unprintable character, and to serve as
metalinguistic variables. For example, <control-Q> stands for
the single ASCII character whose ASCII ordinal value is 21 [17.
for those who prefer numbers in decimal], and which is usually
typed on a teletype by holding down the control key at the same
time as striking the "Q" key. Also, <error-msg> would be a
variable meaning some unspecified string of characters. As in
many other meta-languages, brackets enclose optional parts of
a piece of syntax.
3) File name strings on the ITS system generally appear as:
So remember, <space> separates the file-name from the extension,
and the extension may be up to 6 characters long [for transferral
to TOPS-10 systems, merely truncate the extension to 3
characters]. See the cruft at the end of this note for examples.
4) We don't usually adhere strictly to conventions about the
file-name extension, but a few guidelines may be helpful.
LSP A source file of LISP code, usually containing EXPR
definitions and possibly intermixed with some LAP
LAP Output of the LISP compiler. An ordinary ASCII text
file that can be loaded in by the top-level loop [after
selecting the input file with UREAD]
FASL Output of the FASLAP assembler - The relocatable
format used by the MACLISP system. The system
subroutine FASLOAD applies a linking-loader to the
requested file, and it will signal an error if the file
is not in FASL format.
MID A source file of MIDAS code
Source code for whatever language. The digit string
is considered a version number.
The file "LISP NEWS" is the collection of system updates
sent out here at MAC since the publication of the MACLISP
reference manual in April 1974. Even though it is sadly out of date,
this manual is indispensible for understanding the system. Recently,
we published in loose-leaf form the first two parts of the MACLISP
manual. These should be of some help to novice users of the system.
There are a few major changes in the strategy of the TOPS-10
implementation, foremost of which is the way interrupt characters are
now done. Control-C trapping is no longer used - it turned out to
be a verrry bad idea - and instead <control-C> takes you back to
the monitor, from which the REENTER command puts you in the interrupt
loop. Of course, if the program is sitting in the TTY input wait
loop, then control characters will be executed immediately; but if
the program is running and not inputting from the TTY, you have to
type <control-C>, followed by REENTER. This is similar to the way
interrupt characters are handled on MULTICS.
The RESCAN feature of the monitor is used to get an initializer
program running, and is invoked as follows:
depending on which syntax your monitor permits. MYFILE.INI is a file
of LISP code, whose first form should be a (COMMENT ...) used by
the allocator. If ".INI" is omitted, the extension INI is assumed.
########## look out for these paragraphs - something new is here ##########
Now, some reminders as to how to make up various systems.
First, note that most storage spaces can be dynamically re-allocated
larger (i.e., LIST, FIXNUM, FLONUM, BIGNUM, SYMBOL, ARRAY, and HUNKn);
But Binary Program Space, as well as all the Push-down-stack (usually
called PDLs) cannot be so expanded in the TOPS-10 version. This is
the fault of the limited facility in a two-segment architecture, as
compared with a virtual-memory paging box. Thus you will have to pay
more than the usual attention to allocating these areas.
1) To make up a LISP.SHR and LISP.LOW: First use the standard
DEC LOADER, to load up the LISP.REL file. Then start it up
once to cause the initialization to happen. You will probably
get a message from LISP saying that the low segment begins at a bad
boundary point; if that happens, use the appropriate LOADER switch
to set the initial low segment firstloc to the value printed out by
LISP. This usually happens if you load a DDT or some other
program before loading the LISP.REL; for example, with a DDT, you
are asked by LISP to give the LOADER command:
/005140O [or /SET:.LOW.:5140 for LINK-10]
After that, you can then sharable-save it, preferably on SYS.
[A LISP job that has been run, and subsequently SUSPENDed, will
have no HISEG; but upon start up will try to GETSEG a hiseg from
the same LISP.SHR that was used originally. Thus sharable-save
dumps require no additional copies of the high segment on DSK].
If your system runs the newer 6.02 monitor, it is a good idea to
use the NSSAVE command to create a single LISP.EXE file; this will
make LISP load faster and help the TOPS-10 VM features to work
2) To make up a NCOMPLR compiler: First allocate about 36000.
words for BPS. The standard values for the other spaces are
acceptable, but you may want to lessen them somewhat; if so, some
values to use are:
If you are really low on core, you might consider reducing
these by a factor of 2.
Then do (FASLOAD NCOMPLR FAS) followed by (INITIALIZE) followed
by (CDUMP); as the NCOMPLR file is being loaded, it makes a call
to the ALLOC function to set the other space sizes. At this point,
you are back in the monitor, at a place where you can save the
compiler away; when you start it up again, it will be in the
command line parser, from which you can escape [to LISP toplevel,
of course] by typing a <control-G>. To re-enter the parser from
toplevel, do (MAKLAP), or merely type <control-caret> [or
<control-up-arrow>, however you call it; it is ascii 036 octal].
The syntax of the parser is very similar to that of almost all
where the brackets are here meant to be meta-syntactic, as always.
Multiple source-file specifications may be used to produce a single
target file, in which case they are separated by commas. If only
one file specification is given with no "←", then reasonable
defaults are taken.
If enough core is available [say, 65.K or so] you might
consider also loading in the FASLAP.FAS and GETMID.FAS files just
after FASLOADing in NCOMPLR.FAS, and taking advantage of the
concurrent compilation-and-assemble now available, by specifying
the "F" and "K" switches. In this case, however, you should
increase the BPS allocation to 39000., leaving the others
the same. But otherwise, if you can't get enough core, follow the
instructions under 3) below to get a "stand-alone" FASLAP
3) To make up a FASLAP assembler: as for the compiler, get a
LISP, allocating about 7000. words for BPS, and using the
same PDL allocations as recommended under 2) above. Then do
(FASLOAD FDRV FAS)
(FASLOAD GETMID FAS)
(FASLOAD FASLAP FAS)
Again, at this point, you will be back in the monitor,
from which you can save the job; and again, when restarting
it, you will be in the command line parser. A reminder: If the
GETMID file is not on the directory which is your currently
connected directory, say maybe it is on SYS, you will have to fill
in all the specifications for the MACLISP file specification. E.G.,
(FASLOAD GETMID FAS SYS)
(FASLOAD FASLAP FAS DSK (<PROJ. NO.> <PROG. NO.>))
Omitting the list (<proj. no.> <prog. no.>) will allow defaulting
to the previous directory used, or to the currently connected
directory. It should be possible to specify the SYS device by
(FASLOAD GETMID FAS DSK (1 4))
4) The CGOL files, located on the PRATT directory, make an
interesting front-end for LISP. It has been said that if
you liked CLISP, you'll love CGOL. The manual, which is
more or less the file CGOL DOC, is self-explanatory. The
fasl files for both CGOL and CGPRIN were constructed by
first writing the programs in CGOL, then compiling them
directly using NCOMPL.
5) The SCHEME files, located on the SCHEME directory, are an
implementation of the SCHEME language (a lexically scoped
dialect of LISP) which runs under MacLISP. It is documented
in MIT AI Lab Memos 349, 353, 379, and others.
6) If you need to assemble something from MIDAS, remember that
when running on the DEC system, MIDAS normally produces a
REL file as output.
When LISP source is being assembled, it uses a feature to
take additional "source code" from the TTY, but what you are
supposed to do here is redefine some of the standard assembly
flags, such as "D10" or "BIGNUM". Just after it says,
then you can type, for example,
and when you've typed in enough, terminate the redefinitions by
typing a <control-Z>. Ordinarily, you will probably need only to
give the redefinitions
which signal a relocatable assembly for the TOPS-10 system;
but if you are strapped for core, you can eliminate some
of the winning features of MACLISP by turning off the flags
controlling their assembly.
The LISP.REL on this tape is a standard full assembly,
but the LSPMIN.REL has many such features omitted,
and is consequently about 5K smaller than if all were assembled in
[e.g., the "BIGNUM", or infinite-precision integer arithmetic
package; the "EDIT" package; and a bunch of useless features such
as the Roman numeral reader!]
6) @ is our source creffing program; all of our program listings are
generated using it. It is used primarily for the Xerox Graphics
printer over here, but it also makes line printer listings. Its
neatest feature is that it can make "comparison listings", ie,
listings of only the pages that have changed since the previous
JONL is finally back from his leave of absence at IBM. Work
is picking up on the new manual; chapter three should be out fairly
soon. Ellen Lewis is editing the latest revisions, but she also has
other duties. We will bring the manual out chapter by chapter, as
Jon L. White
and Guy L. Steele
JONL; THIS NOTE
MIDAS; MIDAS DOC
LISP; LISP NEWS
COMLAP; ELAP 100
LIBDOC; FORMAT LSP
LIBLSP; FORMAT FASL
DECSYS; GETMID FAS
PRATT; CGOL DOC
SCHEME; SCHSYS 17
LSPMAN; MANUAL ASCII