April 28th, 2008

SBCL leadership change

In 2000, William Harold Newman announced his new Lisp project, SBCL, to comp.lang.lisp:

I'm working on SBCL,
a variant of CMU CL which should be easier to
maintain than CMU CL. Some of the changes involved -- especially
making the system bootstrap itself cleanly -- involved major surgery
on the CMU CL code base, not just local patches, and the result is a
distinct version of the system.

I consider the new release of SBCL (sbcl-0.6.0) to be alpha quality,
unstable but fairly usable. 

For eight years he's been working on SBCL and making new releases every month. But a few weeks ago, he stepped down:

I'd like to resign as project administrator. This decision is not affected by sbcl-1.1 release issues: I've been absently thinking about it for months, and actively for the past month or so. The decision is hardly affected by anything about the SBCL project at all, in fact. Other things in my life have chewed up a lot of my energy and motivation, and it is far harder for me to deal with any extra responsibilities than it used to to be, and SBCL is just one of the casualties.

Christophe Rhodes, Juho Snellman, and Nikodemus Siivola will now manage SBCL releases.

I started using CL and SBCL after Bill's busiest period of SBCL hacking, but he paved the way and made it easy for new people to become vital developers of the system. The CREDITS file lists nearly 60 contributors of great and small features and fixes.

Thanks for creating SBCL, Bill!