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RE: Industry versus academia

> But my bird's eye view is that forth is one of the few non gc'ed
> languages wherein you can define user-definable functions (words) at
> run time. I know gc is considered a win on this list, so no flames
> re. that please :)

In the absence of Patrick O' Donnell: I presume you wanted a non gc'ed
language for performance reasons, right?!

> The reason we wrote those layers I imagine (some of it was before my
> time) is to allow us to develop such code to connect to databases and
> to throw up user interfaces from Lisp machines and we were not
> satisfied with CLX/CLIM or ODBC type stuff. 

Not satisfied?

> Also, by developing that
> layer, we could port our applications to run on other 
> machines/OS as soon
> as we had a Lisp compiler (+ X server/client libraries + OCI
> libraries) for that machine/OS. (i.e. it decoupled our development of
> platform specific code from the development of our applications -- no
> small feat :) 

Sure, but that sounds like a feature of your architecture, not the language.

> Forth makes it easy to connect to C code for X11 and OCI (Oracle),
> Sybase etc. and provides a way for Lisp to connect to it and define
> new transactions.. our programming is done entirely in Lisp, and the
> forth layer is somewhat hidden (except on rare occasions when you need
> it). 

Probably most people would have picked C, apart from the run time words?!
What made run time words so important for that layer?