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Common LISP, The Language

(Guy L. Steele Jr.)

   It cannot be said better about the modern LISP, than it is said in the Foreword of "Basic LISP Techniques" book by David J. Cooper Jr.
So let me cite this excerpt:

   "...Computers, and the software applications that power them, permeate every facet of our daily lives. From groceries to airline reservations to dental appointments, our reliance on technology is all-encompassing. And, itīs not enough. Every day, our expectations of technology and software increase:

  • smart appliances that can be controlled via the internet
  • better search engines that generate information we actually want
  • voice-activated laptops
  • cars that know exactly where to go
   The list is endless. Unfortunately, there is not an endless supply of programmers and developers to satisfy our insatiable appetites for new features and gadgets. Every day, hundreds of magazine and on-line articles focus on the time and people resources needed to support future technological expectations. Further, the days of unlimited funding are over. Investors want to see results, fast.    Common Lisp (CL) is one of the few languages and development options that can meet these challenges. Powerful, flexible, changeable on the fly - increasingly, CL is playing a leading role in areas with complex problem-solving demands. Engineers in the fields of bioinformatics, scheduling, data mining, document management, B2B, and E-commerce have all turned to CL to complete their applications on time and within budget. CL, however, no longer just appropriate for the most complex problems. Applications of modest complexity, but with demanding needs for fast development cycles and customization, are also ideal candidates for CL.    Other languages have tried to mimic CL, with limited success. Perl, Python, Java, C++, C# - they all incorporate some of the features that give Lisp its power, but their implementations tend to be brittle...."

   For many years I looked at LISP with wonder, had read some books, got understanding of perfection of this language and, finally, I came to it. Here is my first try to get deeper into programming in LISP. But first I decided to make comparations of various LISP implementations, because I had to make decisions - which LISP flavour to use in which situations.

   Here you can see LISP benchmarks, which are performed by me and PRODATA company. Also, please don't forget to read the notes on the benchmarks at the bottom of that page.

   I also pleased to provide some important Common LISP links, which may be useful for starting with LISP.

Many other links can be found when starting from these locations. It's a whole world of amazing experience.

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Last updated 2021-04-11