Wednesday, June 21, 2023

A Midsummer's Eve with ABCL 1.9.2

On the threshold of the Northern Hemisphere's Midsummer's Eve, we unveil the second revision of the Tenth Edition of the Armed Bear Common Lisp implementation, viz. abcl-1.9.2.

Most notably, we are pleased to present the fruits of Alejandro Zamora Fonseca's labors on an interpreted implementation of CL:STEP with the first release of the ABCL-STEPPER contrib.  See <> for more details.  This implementation was the subject of his demonstration <> as this year's European Lisp Symposium.

The POSIX-SYSCALLS contrib now provides the ability to set environment variables under UNIX systems <>, as well as providing an example of how best to add abstract additional functionality to the core implementation.

This release also features a substantially re-worked Gray Stream implementation which fixes enough our implementation to be a first class citizen of SLIME's usage.  With the next release of SLIME, one will have to use abcl-1.9.2 in order to use the slime-repl.  See <> for more details.

The ASDF-JAR contrib has been restored to a usable functionality, which includes re-packaging of ASDF systems from within jar files as well as better abstraction for finding non-source artifacts.  Please refer to <> for a refresher on what facilities ASDF-JAR provides for the aspiring ASDF packager.

A complete list of changes may be viewed at <>.

The release itself is available at <>.

Thanks to everyone who continue to support the Bear.  Enjoy yer evening…

Thursday, February 23, 2023

ABCL 1.9.1 "never use a dot oh"

    If one has been hesitating about using the latest ABCL because one "never uses a dot oh release", we have now sloughed off abcl-1.9.1 for  your appraisal from the depths of a Bear's long winter nap.  Now one can use the somewhat less buggy version of the Tenth Edition of Armed Bear Common Lisp, available, as usual, at <> or (shortly) via Maven <>.

      Please note that when running on openjdk17 and later runtimes, there is quite a bit of necessary fiddling with command line arguments to"open" various modules to the Bear's introspective gaze. For example, see <> for the switches necessary to use CFFI to successfully run the CL+SSL test suite.

      As a reward for your patience, we mention the following humble improvements:

        CFFI compatibility

          We improved the compiler to use wide indices for stack frame locals  for the ALOAD, ASTORE, ILOAD, ISTORE, LLOAD, and LSTORE opcodes, which  among other goodness, allows CFFI-TESTS to compile again.  In addition, we have updated the jar artifact used by CFFI to jna-5.12.1 which includes support for native linkage on the Apple Silicon and  other exotic architectures.

            (Alan Ruttenberg) Ability to discriminate generic function execution on sub-types of MOP:SPECIALIZER

              Following SBCL, CCL, and ECL, the Bear now accepts subtypes of MOP:SPECIALIZER as a generic function discriminator.

                    Overhauled relationship to later openjdk threading models

                      Going back to the future of the original green thread models, recent openjdk releases have started offering lightweight threading implementations.  For the Bear, the ability to spawn virtual threads is indicated by the presence of :VIRTUAL-THREADS in CL:*FEATURES*. Setting the special THREADS:*THREADING-MODEL* to :VIRTUAL results in THREADS:MAKE-THREADS spawning virtual threads.  On some openjdks one may have to pass a command-line switch the JVM to enable virtual threading.

                        (Uthar) Implement array types for JAVA:JNEW-RUNTIME-CLASS

                          Support for creating synthetic Java classes at runtime via JAVA:JNEW-RUNTIME-CLASS has been improved by introducing machinery for dealing with array types.

                            (Alejandrozf) Compiler uses of signals to fallback to interpreted form

                              We fall back to use an interpreted form for compilation results larger than 65535 bytes, which fixes the loading of the FirCAS computer algebra system.

                                (Alejandrozf) Further fixes to COMPILE-FILE-PATHNAME

                                  We have restored the ability to compile Maxima by hopefully untanglingthe last kinks in the reworking of our COMPILE-FILE-PATHNAME logic.

                                    (Tarn W. Burton) Avoid NIL in simple LOOP from CL:FORMAT directives

                                      Simplify simple CL:LOOP requires only compound forms, in the place where returning NIL is neither permitted nor desired.

                                            Broad testing and tweaks across Java Long Term Support (LTS) binaries

                                              We have extensively tested against recent openjdk8, openjdk11,openjdk17, and openjdk19 binaries.  Unfortunately, for openjdk17+ runtimes one needs to pass additional runtime command line switches to the hosting JVM which "open" Java modules to reflective actions.

                                                    Fuller details

                                                      More details can be found in <>.
                                                          Enjoy, and please CONS responsibly…