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the Duck port you gave up on.

I can see why you gave up. The program referenced such jewels as
the internal macros used by the backquote-macros, COMPILER:QC-FILE-IN-PROGRESS,
not to mention various undocumented features of the DEC, Symbolics, and LMI
implementation. In fact this is a classic case of pre-common-lisp lossage.
Porting the previous "zetalisp" version from Symbolics rel 6 took me
only 3 hours. So the "commonlispification" of DUCK in this case was
somewhat misguided. What you had was a program that was painfully
hacked to work in DEC's VAX implementation.

{Insert a short history of NISP, and the port to T...}

Better luck next time.