Common Lisp, Development, LISP, Mobile Development

mocl: first impressions

mocl: Common Lisp for iPhone/iOS, Android, and other mobile platforms

As many Lispers are aware, the long-fabled and falsely-accused vapourware mocl was finally released by Wukix, pretty much right on schedule. Since it’s Canada Day long weekend, I decided to celebrate by getting myself the Personal License. The license fees are a bit steep, but hopefully the grand simplification of cross-platform mobile development through Common Lisp will make it more than worthwhile. Currently the only platforms supported by mocl are iOS and Android, but other platforms should be added eventually, ideally Blackberry 10 first. The download for mocl is available for Mac OS X and Linux (both 32- and 64-bit), but obviously if you intend to do any iOS development, you’ll need a Mac.

Edit: the latest version of mocl is now also available for Windows. – 09/16/2013

My first impressions of mocl are slightly mixed, unfortunately. The installation itself was both easy and seamless, but then I noticed that mocl’s ASDF support requires a link farm—a directory of symlinks that point to your *.asd files. Seriously, who uses link farms anymore? I tried my best to get Quicklisp working anyway, but to no avail. If there’s one thing mocl needs, it’s quicklisp support. Patiently, I symlinked drakma and all its dependencies to the mocl link farm and disabled SSL support as the documentation mentioned, but mocl’s experimental REPL crashed when loading it. Ah well. As it says when launched, the mocl REPL is currently “an experimental work in progress.”

In my next post, we’ll see if the example Contacts application from the Wukix github works or not.