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Communications of the ACM

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ACM Forum


From under the rubble: computing and the resuscitation of Romania

How does an entire country return to life? The dictatorship of Nicolae and Elena Ceaucescu turned Romania into a political, social and economic wasteland that was vividly pictured in the world media after the overthrow of the …

How the Nintendo generation learns

Recently, I was chatting with my son, Daniel (age 7) about Nintendo. I asked him if he could bring it in to school for show and tell and he was horrified! “No,” he exclaimed, “that's not for learning.” Well, whatyou, dear reader …

LISP: introduction


CLOS: integrating object-oriented and functional programming

Lisp has a long history as a functional language,* where action is invoked by calling a procedure, and where procedural abstraction and encapsulation provide convenient modularity boundaries. A number of attempts have been made …

The philosophy of Lisp

We consider here the importance of an overall systems viewpoint in avoiding computer-related risks. According to Webster's, a system is a regularly interacting or interdependent group of items forming a unified whole. In computer …

The Metal system

Siemens Nixdorf Information Systems has created a machine translation system called Metal that supports the following language pairs: German-English; English-German; German-Spanish; French-Dutch; Dutch-French. (Work on other  …

Lisp systems in the 1990s


CLIM: the Common Lisp interface manager

The essence of an application is a set of objects and a set of operations on those objects. The essence of the behavior of an application's user interface is similar to Lisp's read-eval-print loop: the user specifies what he  …

LispView: leverage through integration

Although Lisp was the host for many of the first graphical user interface (GUI) packages, popular activity in this area has shifted to more primitive but widely used languages such as C and C++. One explanation for this shift …

Delivering the goods with Lisp

Lisp has long had a reputation for the efficacy of its development environment. It is used in academia and by some R&D groups in industry; and, compared with conventional languages, it is hardly ever used in real applications …

Real-time programming in Common Lisp


Biosphere 2 nerve system

Biosphere 2 (Earth being Biosphere 1) is an experiment in closed system ecology. It is a steel and glass structure about the size of three football fields and has a volume of more than three million cubic feet. The purpose of …

On building systems that will fail


An interview with Fernando Jose Corbató


The not-so-accidental holist