JP Vossen on 17 Jan 2008 22:24:38 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Lisp preso?

Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2008 19:41:24 -0500
From: "Toby DiPasquale" <>

 >> What I learned of formal programming is almost 20 years old.  I'm
 >> top-down, procedural, and I never really "got" this newfangled Object
 >> Oriented stuff, so that's where I'm coming from.  I've written a
 >> couple of trivial C programs, with the book in my lap; otherwise I'm
 >> bash & Perl all the way.  So I'd be interested in something like:
 > Lisp is 50 years old this year; its anything but "new-fangled".

I wasn't clear.  From my perspective, OO is newfangled.  I know Lisp has 
been around forever, that's one of the reasons I think it sounds 
interesting enough to try to learn.

 >> * What's the "best" Lisp compiler for Linux (whatever "best" means)
 >> and how do we get it (clisp?)
 > The answer to this question is almost entirely religious. SBCL is

Uh oh...

 > generally considered to be the fastest (in generated code) for Common
 > Lisp for the free varieties, Clisp is the most portable and Allegro
 > has the best commercial and library support but is not free. As for
 > Scheme compilers, the consensus is much less overwhelming... since
 > Scheme is often used as a teaching tool and in academia, the culture
 > around Scheme is much more about experimentation and much less about
 > "production-readiness".

I picked clisp out of a hat--err, well an Ubuntu 'aptitude search' 
anyway.  But now that I know to look I do find both clisp and sbcl in 
both Etch and Gutsy repos.  Good to know...  Oh, there seems to be a 
bunch of Scheme stuff in both too, including mzscheme/drscheme.

Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2008 18:04:54 -0800 (PST)
From: Josh Goldstein <>

 > I could talk about Scheme (a LISP dialect, almost the exact same 
thing > as LISP) that would be similar to the Erlang talk, not that I'm an
 > 'expert', or even a 'good public speaker/presenter'.

If you're willing to talk I'd be delighted to listen.

 >> * How to "think in Lisp" (like, thinking in Perl requires hashes and
 >>   Regexp  :)
 >From what I have seen, it's thinking in recursion and lists.

OK, that rings a bell from other things I've read about Lisp, which I 
must admit are mostly Paul Graham's essays. :-)


 > I only know of Scheme and Lisp, and they're pretty much the same as
 > far as any non-super-expert would see things.

Maybe I should also ask which to start out with then, Lisp or Scheme?

OTOH, I do a lot with Perl and almost all of what I end up needing 
requires lots of pattern matching, very often using PCRE.  And I use a 
lot of hashes too, that there may be some data structure laziness 
happening there.  I'm not sure I see that same "fit" in Lisp; but hey, 
that's the point of learning something new right?

Anyway, thanks to you both for the answers and the book references, I've 
made a note of them.

I know we had at least one other person interested, anyone else 
interested in listening or talking?

JP Vossen, CISSP            |:::======|        jp{at}jpsdomain{dot}org
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