Should we abandon support for IMAGE ops on Lispworks?

Faré fare at
Wed May 27 19:49:48 UTC 2015

On Wed, May 27, 2015 at 1:44 PM, Robert P. Goldman <rpgoldman at> wrote:
> I'm starting to be inclined to suggest we abandon support for this kind
> of operation on Lispworks.  Lispworks does not provide a portable means
> to invoke from the command-line, indeed invocation from the command line
> is *IMPOSSIBLE* unless you pay extra for a Professional license.  Also,
> image-dumping is only possible if you have a Professional license.
> What's even The Right Thing here?  Should we be checking to see if image
> creation is possible?  And how do we capture the fact that some of our
> stuff requires that the user create a LW image that can be invoked from
> the command line w/o starting up the IDE?
> I really wish they would ship with a simple command-line executable...
LispWorks Personal Edition is known not to process command-line
arguments or configuration files at all and always start a graphical

LispWorks granted me a professional license for the sake of testing
ASDF on Linux. The image support is working for me. I don't have a
license on Windows or on Mac, but so far as I can tell, it's working
there, too. I'm sure they'll grant you a test license if you ask them
gently at lisp-sales at

lisp-invocation, after cl-launch, works around the failure of
LispWorks 6 to correctly handle command-line arguments by creating a
temporary script in which the arguments are properly initialized and
telling LispWorks to load this script. lisp-recently disabled this
trick in the hope that it would not be necessary on LispWorks 7 since
the release notes mentioned a command-line parsing bug as being fixed.
However, after paging the entire issue back into working memory,
reading the documentation of LispWorks and the comments of cl-launch
and lisp-invocation, and running tests, I concluded that the hack was
still required for LispWorks 7.0.0 and I reinstated it in
lisp-invocation (it had never been removed in cl-launch). My mistake
for believing the hack wasn't necessary, just because *another* bug
had been fixed in LispWorks command-line argument handling on
Windows... (that latter bug is the reason why asdf tests are being
invoked with such funky space-less command-lines; I haven't run
cross-implementation tests to check that this kluge wasn't required
anymore, so won't try to disable it.)

As for image dumping, so far it looks to me as if it's working fine on
LispWorks Professional. In recent times when SBCL had broken Exscribe,
I briefly used LispWorks instead, proving that yes you can dump images
for non-trivial applications using LispWorks and cl-launch. Yes, a
cl-launch-produced script is still required as a front-end to process
command-line arguments correctly.

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