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Luke Gorrie

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OOPSLA trip report [Oct. 21st, 2008|06:32 pm]
Luke Gorrie
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I'm back from two days of OOPSLA pre-conference workshops. I had a great time and my brain is feeling very overstimulated. :-)

The Lisp50 workshop started with Steele and Garbriel re-enacting their 1993 HOPL talk 'The Evolution of Lisp' word-for-word, very well executed with narration by Pascal Costanza. The talk was set during the AI winter so it ended with a few somber words about Lisp companies dying out. Then it was more olden days history from JonL White.

Surprisingly, this all pissed me off immensely. If the Lisp they're here to celebrate stopped evolving in 1993 then what's that got to do with the Lisp that I know? So I left them to it and browsed other workshops for a while.

I chanced upon the Smalltalk Superpowers room. They had an interesting theme: everybody presenting their favourite dirty tricks ("superpowers" -- stack-walking, hacking objects as arrays, etc) and then voting thumbs-up/thumbs-down on whether they're doing good or evil. David Ungar was there playing along with Self running on his laptop -- that worked very well too. (I'd never seen a running Self before.) I had lunch with those guys and heard about the history of the commercial Smalltalk world and the technical workings of Gemstone. Good people! (What would your Lisp superpowers be?)

ANYWAY...

The grand finale made everything right! Clojure: a Lisp of the 21st century. I found the talk electrifying -- it was exactly the right thing at the right time. We broke for dinner and drinks in the highest of spirits and had a long jolly evening.

On the flight back I read a couple of chapters of The Elements of Computing Systems and implemented some circuits on paper (not, and, or, xor, mux, dmux, half-adder, full-adder, adder). Fantastic book! I'll try porting these circuits to Clojure and having a crack at the ALU and CPU.

So life is good and I'm fully satisfied with the Lisp50 experience! See you in another 50 years.

LinkReply

Comments:
From: (Anonymous)
2008-10-22 06:55 am (UTC)

Book: The Elements of Computing Systems

Worked through this book a year ago. Fantastic! Highly recommendable. But be careful if you are in an Arabic country. You don't have access to the authors website! ;-)
Basics can still be fun and remind me of my younger days. :-)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: lukego
2008-10-22 02:48 pm (UTC)

Re: Book: The Elements of Computing Systems

In those countries you can usually just tunnel a connection to a HTTP proxy through ssh for unfettered web access. :-)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2008-10-22 06:35 pm (UTC)

Re: Book: The Elements of Computing Systems

Good to know. Never tried this out because I'm going to internet cafés. But I will order my own wireless connection and try it out. Thanks a lot for the tip, Luke. Btw, if you ever come to Dubai, please let me know and we can arrange something.
Greetings, Dressguard.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: ext_179449
2009-04-05 01:35 pm (UTC)

Re: Book: The Elements of Computing Systems

Or you can use Tor, an encrypted routing layer : https://www.torproject.org/
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2008-11-12 11:01 am (UTC)

Re: Book: The Elements of Computing Systems

I have no problem accessing the author's website from an Arabic country without a need to use any kind of proxy/tunneling. You should refrain from telling lies and being a bigot!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2008-11-16 12:10 am (UTC)

Re: Book: The Elements of Computing Systems

BTW, I think it's a good book although I've known most of the contents of this book. You should have taken CS major in university :). It cannot be that boring

Ahmed
Muscat
Oman
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: lukego
2008-11-19 04:50 am (UTC)

Re: Book: The Elements of Computing Systems

You're too educated Ahmed :-) send me an email and tell me what's new! lukego@gmail.com
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2008-10-22 06:55 am (UTC)

from : Justin Grant

Luke, was great to meet you and thanks for the quick follow up for this.
I've posted some pics up for now. http://imagine27.com/lisp50/index.html
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