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A minimal Common Lisp interpreter.
- To: Michael van Biema <MICHAEL@CS.COLUMBIA.EDU>
- Subject: A minimal Common Lisp interpreter.
- From: "Scott E. Fahlman" <Fahlman@C.CS.CMU.EDU>
- Date: Thu, 10 Jul 1986 17:50:00 -0000
- Cc: common-lisp@SU-AI.ARPA
- In-reply-to: Msg of 10 Jul 1986 11:50-EDT from Michael van Biema <MICHAEL at CS.COLUMBIA.EDU>
- Sender: FAHLMAN@C.CS.CMU.EDU
Let me hazard a guess that if you implmented only what is required to be
present a legal Common Lisp and that if you were willing to give up a
LOT of performance for compactness, you could probably pack the code
into 256K bytes and perhaps 128K. This does not count any space for
user-stuff, however. It assumes that you design a special byte-code
with code-density in mind, and that you hand-code an interpreter for
Such a system would not be very useful, of course. It would be slower
than a less compact interpreter on the same machine by at least a factor
of 10, and would be pretty useless without any environment stuff around.
For a more reasonable implementation, I think that 1 Mbyte is a good
figure to use as the minimum size of a complete Common Lisp and a little
bit of space for user code, not counting the compiler or editor. This
may be more or less, depending on the machine's instruction set.
For those of you who like to point to such numbers as evidence that
Common Lisp as a huge, bloated language, remember that 1 Mbyte is now 8
chips (plus a couple more for ECC).