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Handout at Lisp Conference
We plan to hand out the following informational flier at the Lisp
Conference registration. People who read it here won't have to take
STATUS OF COMMON LISP STANDARDIZATION EFFORTS
Common Lisp is fast becoming a de facto standard for Lisp, especially in
the commercial world where the need for a standard, widely accepted Lisp
dialect has long been felt. Almost all Lisp suppliers in the U.S. now
offer, or intend to offer, implementations of Common Lisp. The language
is now available on most of the workstations and mainframes that are
used by the AI research community. Several Japanese companies have also
been active in Common Lisp development, and a Japanese standardization
committee has been established. Common Lisp is being used in Europe,
and the European efforts at Lisp standardization are taking Common Lisp
as one important input.
At a meeting in Boston in December, 1985, representatives from the
Common Lisp community agreed to form technical and steering committees
to work on Common Lisp standardization. The technical committee is to
develop a detailed language specification for Common Lisp; the steering
committee is to work on the non-technical aspects of the standardization
process. A group of people, including five key contributors to the
original Common Lisp design, was chosen to select the members for these
new committees; that task was completed in March of 1986.
The technical committee members are Alan Bawden, Daniel Bobrow, Richard
Gabriel, Martin Griss, David Moon, Jonathan Rees, Guy Steele, and Scott
Fahlman (chairman). The steering committee members are Richard Gabriel,
John McCarthy, Ronald Ohlander, Stephen Squires, Guy Steele, and Robert
Mathis (chairman). It is expected that some non-U.S. members will be
added to both committees in the near future. Both of these committees
are interim bodies that will be integrated into the normal standards
process, once that process is operating fully.
A formal proposal was made to X3, the accredited U.S. standards
committee for information processing systems, to establish a technical
committee for Common Lisp standardization. This proposal was accepted;
the Common Lisp committee is called X3J13. Plans are also being made
for the establishment of an international committee for Lisp
standardization under ISO. The formation of an X3 technical committee
is the normal way for the U.S. to participate in ISO activities.
Most of the technical discussion on Common Lisp occurs on the ARPAnet
via the mailing list "common-lisp@@sail.stanford.edu", administered by
Richard Gabriel (rpg@@sail.stanford.edu). A number of other networks
have mail gateways to the ARPAnet, making it possible for almost all
interested parties to participate in the technical discussions.
Electronic mail communication has been established with participants in
Japan and Europe.
The first meeting of X3J13, the U.S. Technical Committee for the
standardization of Lisp, will be Tuesday and Wednesday, September 23 and
24, 1986, in Washington, DC, at the headquarters of CBEMA, Suite 500,
311 First St, NW. On Tuesday (23) the meeting will be from 10am to 5pm;
on Wednesday (24) the meeting will be from 9am to 3pm. No special hotel
arrangements are being made.
Membership in X3 technical committees is open to all who actively
participate (attend meetings or correspond) and pay an annual service
fee (about $175). US citizenship or residency is not required. The
first meeting is important since policies and procedures for X3
technical committees will be discussed and specific plans for the Lisp
activity will be made.
Anyone interested in joining X3J13, and particularly anyone planning to
attend the first meeting, should contact the convenor for X3J13: Dr.
Robert Mathis, 9712 Ceralene Dr., Fairfax, VA 22032. Phone: (703)
425-5923. Arpanet: mathis@@b.isi.edu.