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回顾历史:Harlequin 软件公司 (LispWorks)  

2006-11-24 06:59:44|  分类: Lisp |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Harlequin (software company)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Harlequin was formerly a technology company based in Cambridge, UK and
Cambridge, Massachusetts. They specialized in printing and graphical
applications, law enforcement applications, and programming language
implementations. Harlequin referred to themselves as "The LateBinding company"
and was what is sometimes called a Think Tank.

When Global Graphics [1] (http://www.globalgraphics.com/) purchased Harlequin,
they spun off the Lisp and AI/law enforcement related groups as Xanalys LLC
[2] (http://www.xanalys.com/) , and the Harlequin Dylan team as Functional
Objects. Global Graphics acquired Harlequin, primarily for the PostScript
technologies, which Global Graphics continues to develop and market under the
Harlequin name (in 2006). These organisational changes also destroyed the
Think Tank potential.

Think Tank products

Harlequin had two main lines of business

* digital pre-press (primarily ScriptWorks, a 'PostScript language compatible
  RIP'),
* and modern language development environments (compilers and IDEs) for Lisp,
  ML and Dylan.

Other products included data analysis tools created using LispWorks, the Lisp
IDE.

The Think Tank structure of the Harlequin can also be recognized via the
development of a flexible and modular memory management system, the Memory
Pool System (MPS). MPS was designed

* to support a wide range of requirements from high-speed manual memory
  management, to complex garbage collection with many different types of
  reference.

* to support two product ScriptWorks PostScript RIP, and their Harlequin Dylan
  compiler and IDE for the Dylan programming language.

Think Tank spin offs

In January 2005 employees founded the independently-owned LispWorks Limited
[3] (http://www.lispworks.com/) to focus on the Lisp business.

Several of Harlequin's other assets and technologies have also been acquired
and open sourced by companies founded by former Harlequin employees.

* Functional Objects Inc [4] (http://www.functionalobjects.com/) was founded
  in 1999 to continue development and production of the Dylan IDE. In 2004 all
  code was open sourced to The Gwydion Maintainers.
  (http://www.gwydiondylan.org) They renamed the IDE to Open Dylan
  (http://opendylan.org) .

* Ravenbrook Limited [5] (http://www.ravenbrook.com/) acquired the Memory
  Management Reference [6] (http://www.memorymanagement.org/), a public
  resource on memory management and garbage collection, and the Memory Pool
  System [7] (http://www.ravenbrook.com/project/mps/), a flexible memory
  manager and garbage collector now open sourced.

History

Harlequin Limited was founded in 1987 in Cambridge, England, with offices
initially at the founder's home Jo Marks and then on Station Road. The company
moved in 1989 to Barrington Hall, in the village of Barrington near Cambridge,
which became the permanent company headquarters.

Expansion followed, and Harlequin Limited became The Harlequin Group Limited,
with wholly owned subsidiaries in the UK (Harlequin Limited), the USA
(Harlequin, Inc.) and Australia (Harlequin Australia Pty Limited). The company
acquired in February 1995 the rights to the Lisp-related technology Lucid
Common Lisp of Lucid, Inc., that went out of business the summer before due to
financial hardships. Also many staff from Lucid Inc and Symbolics Inc, when
those other Lisp companies failed. In 1997 the group company became Harlequin
Group plc. At its peak in 1997/1998 the company had over 300 staff. Harlequin
had offices in: Cambridge, England (including Barrington Hall and Longstanton)
; Edinburgh; Manchester; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Menlo Park, California, and
several other places.

Due to failed expansion plans, the company was declared bankrupt in the summer
of 1999 and went into administration. It was acquired by Global Graphics [8]
(http://www.globalgraphics.com/) , primarily for the PostScript technologies,
which Global Graphics continues to develop and market under the Harlequin name
(in 2006). Global Graphics created a subsidiary Xanalys [9]
(http://www.xanalys.com/) for the data analysis and LispWorks businesses.

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