Lacking Natural Simplicity

Random musings on books, code, and tabletop games.

Common Lisp, SBCL, and CLIM; Recent Reading

Common Lisp, SBCL, and CLIM

I finally took the time to figure out how to install McCLIM under FreeBSD. The first thing to do was install SBCL from scratch; the FreeBSD port doesn't install all the SBCL extras, but they're needed to build McCLIM, especially ASDF. The other things I needed to do were described in the INSTALL.SBCL from the McCLIM release. I had to install CLX for SBCL using ASDF. This proceeded with only one hitch: I needed a ~/.sbcl/trusted-uids.lisp for some reason. Once that was done it was easy to build McCLIM for SBCL and run the demo applications. Now that I know how to build McCLIM I'll be able to investigate CLIM.

Recent Reading

  • J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century, by Tom Shippey. I think I must have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings for the first time in 1977, when I was still quite young, and like many was captivated immediately. I read it again many times and enjoyed it just as much each time. It's one of those books that I return to and re- read every few years. I would not, however, have thought of Tolkien as the “Author of the Century”, but in this book and The Road to Middle-Earth Shippey makes a very persuasive argument for just that, pointing out that Tolkien may well have been the person with the deepest understanding of the English language in this century, and showing how his professional background as a philologist and language scholar formed his fiction. In any case, both books made me appreciate much better the subtlety and depth of Tolkien's fiction and has the best possible outcome for literary analysis: it made me want to read the books again, as well as look further into the books edited by J.R.R Tolkien's son, Christopher Tolkien. I've read the The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle Earth, but I've not read any of the twelve volume of The History of Middle Earth, and I think after this it would be interesting to do so.

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