Lisp Language

Originally, the term Lisp referred to the ProgrammingLanguage which was the brainchild of JohnMcCarthy. The invention of Lisp dates back to 1958.

Now, when unspecified, the term Lisp either refers to CommonLisp (a language) or the Lisp family of languages, all of which share the LambdaNature.

"Lisp is the world's greatest programming language - or so its proponents think." - GuySteele and RichardGabriel, TheEvolutionOfLisp, History of Programming Languages II, Addison-Wesley, 1996

Lisp pioneered a lot of things, making it one of the GroundBreakingLanguages. Some well-known examples include GarbageCollection and the NullObject (NIL).

Well-known members of this family, alive and deceased, include:

New dialects of Lisp:

Lisp inspired languages include ...

The AssociationOfLispUsers web site is a good starting point for Lisp information:

Also see TheEvolutionOfLisp.

I have written an introduction to Lisp that can be found at which you might find useful. -- PascalCostanza

Obligatory Quotes:

SmugLispWeenies love to yell at each other about whether Scheme, which is, as far as the layman is concerned, a dialect of Lisp, is a Lisp or not. (see IsSchemeLisp) The fact that none have done so here is a testament to the sanity of Wiki authors. Thank you all! -- DanielKnapp

That'd be like doing your dirty laundry in public. For the plebs, we'll let it slide. :-)

Not to mention the fact that the list of things that 'smug lisp weenies love to yell about' is highly politicized and inaccurate for some reason, I think. I know a lot of lispers, and I don't know any who behave by the stereotypes presented here and elsewhere. I would say, as a language community, it is better behaved than most. Perhaps that is just me, though. It *is* skewed towards experienced and talented programmers (as are many other `niche' languages, for similar reasons), and this group as a whole has little time for some sorts of newbie behaviour. On the whole, this is understandable, and for the most part stays reasonable....

Lisp is like zen when you see it for the first time it's like something you already knew.

How is this sentence to be punctuated?

Lisp is.

No, no. 'Is' is Lisp.

An interesting thing about Lisp is that JohnMcCarthy was a professor in a university who taught Lisp as a mathematical idea. Then one pupil (Steve Russell) commented that if only the function eval was implemented, then Lisp programs could be run. Maybe that's the reason Lisp is the simplest language...

This is a summary of a study of Lisp versus Java which compares software development time and resulting program characteristics for several tasks. It's modelled on a similar study comparing C++ and Java.

The "study" is comprised of self-selected Lisp developers in a single problem domain. The kindest thing I can say about it is that it's an anecdote, not a study.

See also: EssExpressions LostInaSeaofParentheses ConsCell ForthVsLisp IsSchemeLisp ImplementingLisp

CategoryProgrammingLanguage CategoryLisp

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