Tuesday, January 25

Progress with Lisp

So far my initial enthusiasm for LISP is wearing off a bit. I can see it's practical potential, but the main upshot of my learning it, so far is that I've switched to Emacs from Vi.

Perhaps my problem is that I'm just put off by the constant fiddling needed with free Linux implementations and the unavailabilty of a good free as in beer Win32 implementation. I miss the ease of integration with a lot of useful libraries I'm used to working with in both Python & C++, as well as all the new idioms I have to absorb.

I can see the language can do things that Python only vaguely aspires to, though. I'm just not sure that in the cases when I don't need the extra grunt of Lisp that I'll be able to prototype as rapidly as I could in Python.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You've probably already considered it, but if not, take a look at CLISP - it's GNU, so free as in speech, but also free as in beer (no money charged). You can get it at


and then grab


for the most current win32 version. Yeah, there's a slightly newer Linux version - but unless you're on the cutting edge, 2.33.1 will probably do what you want.

For your rendering goal, CLISP may have a downside in that it compiles to bytecodes - but it's pretty lightweight (people use it to write CGI scripts on their web pages) and it's well-supported.

I believe that there are some Vi-oriented development tools available (check the comp.lang.lisp archives) - maybe that would help as well. I found


which both talk about VILisp, built on VIM.

bob bechtel