26 thoughts on “Clasp: Common Lisp using LLVM and C++ for Molecular Metaprogramming

  1. Hi, I'm Christian Schafmeister. Thank you so much for the nice comments! I just want to point out that this work was all done with your tax dollars. This work was made possible by support from the National Institute of Health (NIGMS), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DOD:DTRA).

  2. Too bad it was only one hour, not knowing much about chemistry and having had a course or 2 on compilers a decade ago, I had a hard time keeping up at times. Though I feel it was reduced enough for me to appreciate the gist of the chalanges. Impressive and inspiring talk/work.

  3. This was magnificent – I have worked (and played!) over the last two decades with many of the SW technologies shown here, but seeing them applied across disciplines to create molecular machines… I am just speechless. 

    I'd never expect a scientist from a different field to get so deep into mine – amazing work.

  4. "C++ template programming is to common lisp macros, as what IRS Tax Forms is to poetry."  Hilarious at https://youtu.be/8X69_42Mj-g?t=29m42s

  5. Any time someone makes fun of a mainstream language, I stop taking them seriously. I love Lisp, but trashing C++? Really? There is no real alternative to C++ today (unfortunately). Rust seems to be a good candidate, but Mozilla seems hell bent on making sure it fails. Every language has its own niche, and C++ is a monstrosity, but it's a necessary monstrosity. This is just a pathetic little man.

  6. Check out Marius Buliga for a form of lambda calculus that has a topological representation. It maps naturally to molecules and is a model of computation.

  7. Eventually, consumer products, devices, even large things like spaceships will be "grown". (Any Babylon 5 fans out there?)

  8. The technical parts of your project are incredibly interesting and fascinating. But there is a "but": your chemical part (the most important one) seems just put/built around the evolutionist theory: concrete, real "beneficial mutations" (not seen one such thing in whole observable history), plus what basically amounts to billions/trillions(?) of trial-and-error…

    My prediction is: you (and all of your successors) will run out of time/patience/age prior to achieve anything really useful.

    P.S. Just face it: evolution didn't happen. It's the very show-stopper to real science (hard as it may sound to current minds…).

  9. I highly recommend checking out the slides of the INFAPM – Workshop
    where Christian Schafmeister attended as speaker shortly after this google tech talk.
    The workshop was on August 5-6, 2015
    https://energy.gov/eere/amo/downloads/integrated-nanosystems-atomically-precise-manufacturing-workshop-august-5-6-2015

    Sadly it seems (as I currently understand it) that there was only a concept video made of a "system-level tech demo" and not a "coarse-block APM system" (the terms are from the slides). A concept video of a "coarse-block APM system" (like a soup of rudimentary site activation printers) would have featured lots of foldamers (possibly including Schafmeisters spiroligiomers) and these light driven actuator molecules. The video that was made was heavily focused on nanotube usage which are much harder to handle than foldamers. The (difficult) setup of such a nanotube-centric system would likely require the usage of an SPM tip reducing this exercise to a one off "system-level tech demo".

  10. This man could have saved two years of his time by just hiring a professional C++ programmer. And now? We have another implementation of a compiler for a language that already has enough compilers. Especially given that there exist better alternatives like Clojure makes it even worse.
    My Message: use the stuff how it is thought and only invent new stuff it its really needed (and not just for getting attention).

  11. At last someone who knows what he's doing, geez! otoh who's the nitwit at Q&A?! suggesting to debug lisp macros directly with gdb, correct answer is YOU DON'T! , have you actually used a REPL like ever? even at 2x, q&a simply doesn't justify my time anymore.

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