Early experience with Medley on the Raspberry Pi 400

Medley is the first Lisp system I experimented with on my new Raspberry Pi 400, here is the AArch64 version on the Raspberry Pi OS desktop:

SDL version of Medley Interlisp on a Raspberry Pi 400 under Raspberry Pi OS.

The online version of Medley runs well and smoothly enough in Chromium. There are no major or unexpected performance differences between the Pi 400 and my Chromebox.

But the AArch64 .deb package of the prebuilt Medley distribution is really, really slow on the Pi 400. For example, when launching the program I can see the characters being printed one by one to the Exec window. The problem is the AArch64 release is built for X-Windows, which on the Wayland based Raspberry Pi OS Bookworm goes through Xwayland with degraded performance.

Therefore I built from source the SDL version of Medley that doesn't rely on X-Windows.

Building everything, i.e. compiling Maiko and making the loadups, takes less than five minutes on the Pi 400. Although the process is simple, it took me some trial and error to figure the exact steps from the limited documentation. Nick Briggs helped me troubleshoot the build and advised on how to create a missing makefile.

The SDL version is snappier than the default AArch64 Debian package. Now Medley starts up almost instantly. The only inconvenience common to both versions is they don't recognize my Italian keyboard as they work only with the English US layout.

#Interlisp #pi400

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