Using Lisp on CSElabs machines
You can add automatically the module you want
by modifying the module command line in your .cshrc file.
CLISP is very fast and it is the recommended choice.
Look down in the page for information on
free implementations of Lisp.
- The complete reference manual for Common Lisp
"Common Lisp the Language, 2nd edition", by Guy L. Steele,
Thinking Machines, Inc. Digital Press, 1990 paperbound, 1029 pages,
ISBN 1-55558-041-6 is available on the Web in html, dvi, ps, etc.
The ANSI Standard for Common Lisp.
This makes Lisp the first object-oriented language recognized
by ANSI (American National Standards Institute).
Common Lisp HyperSpec is another
HTML document with the ANSI Common Lisp standard. It is organized
differently than the previous one, but has the same contents.
Books on Lisp on the Web
Successful Lisp: How to Understand and Use Common Lisp,
an online book by David B. Lamkins.
Practical Common Lisp, APress. Another full book on line.
Basic Lisp Techniques (pdf) by David Cooper, Jr., a complete basic
Lisp book available from the Franz Inc website. It includes information
specific to Allegro Common Lisp.
Common Lisp: A Gentle Introduction to Symbolic Computation
by David S. Touretzky, 1990. Available as .ps and .pdf.
The Common Lisp Cookbook aims at providing for Lisp something similar
to the Perl Cookbook. It includes information on foreign functions,
sockets, threads. etc. It also includes links to other Lisp material on
- A short Lisp tutorial with many simple examples is
Common Lisp Hints
ANSI Common Lisp by Paul Graham. The
Lisp code are available on his website.
The entire book is available at
On Lisp by Paul Graham. It is out of print, and Paul Graham has
put it on the web. Full text available in postscript and pdf.
The Lisp code is also available.
Great for advanced Common Lisp techniques, especially macros.
For more free books look at
Free Lisp implementations
- a list of implementations is at
The page includes a table comparing the different implementations and their
CLISP is a bytecode-based Common Lisp implementation under GPL, that
can be downloaded from
CLISP runs on many architectures (Unix, Mac, Windows under
Cygwin, Mac, etc). It works very well and it is fast.
Clozure CL is another free
implementation that runs on Mac OS, Linux, Solaris, and Windows XP. The
Mac version comes with an IDE. It is a good choice if you want a
convenient foreign-function interface and fast compilation. It used to be
called OpenMCL when it was only for the Mac.
is the official Common Lisp for the
GNU project. It runs on GNU/Linux architectures (x86 powerpc s390 sparc
arm alpha ia64 hppa m68k mips mipsel), Windows, Sparc Solaris, and
CMUCL (originally called CMU Common Lisp) runs on most Unix platforms.
http://www.cons.org/cmucl/ for information and download.
- You can get a free version of Allegro Common Lisp (Allegro CL 9.0 Free
Express Edition) is available for Windows,
Linux (32-bit only), and Mac OS from
This is a complete version of the software but with limited heap size and an
It can be used for course work and non-commercial applications.
LispWorks(TM) Personal Edition runs under Linux and Windows.
It is free but has some limitations on the heap size and a time limit
(5 hours) for each session.
ManKai Common Lisp (MKCL)
supports Linux and Microsoft Windows, running on top of Intel x86 or AMD64
compatible processors. For windows it is compiled under MinGW.
A collection of links and resources for free software implemented in
Common Lisp and available on Unix-like systems is at
http://ww.telent.net/cliki/index. The site is active and maintained
using a collaborative web authoring system written in Common Lisp.
The Common Lisp Directory
is another source for pointers to Lisp sofware, implemenations, etc
CLOCC - the Common Lisp Open Code Collection
includes a number of free tools written in Lisp (support for sockets,
shell commands, and a variety of utilities)
History and Additional Information about Lisp
- A description of the origins of Lisp and its early history
LISP---Notes on its past and future---1980
by John McCarthy, the creator of Lisp.
A short description of
What made Lisp different. It points out the essential features of
Lisp and how features of newer languages relate to the features of Lisp.
Peter Norvig covers something similar in
A Retrospective on Paradigms of AI Programming. It
includes a comparison efficiency of Lisp with Java, Python, etc.
- Paul Graham has a collection of links on his page at
The page includes his famous article
"Revenge of the Nerds"
and "Beating the averages"
where he describes how Lisp is used in Viaweb, the first Web-based application
program. Viaweb was sold for $40 million in 1998 and it is now known as
Read Carl de Marcken: Inside
Orbitz to see how Lisp is used by ITA software for airline fare search.
is used by Orbitz and other airline search engines. ITA software, the
company that powers the search on Orbitz, AirCanada and others,
is currently the major competitor to systems (like Sabre, Galileo, Amadeus,
etc) which are used by travel agents and travel web site.
Lisp: Good News, Bad News, How to Win Big by Richard P. Gabriel.
- A good collection on Lisp books and on-line resources is at
- A collection of pointers to Lisp pages can be found at
- You can find short articles with Lisp examples at
http://www.franz.com/support/tutorials/. Look at how to build a Unix
Web server in Lisp. how to extend it to generate HTML dynamically, and
Wikipedia Lisp Article, a brief introduction to Lisp and its
Paul Graham has a wonderful collection of quotes about Lisp at
My favorite ones are:
"Lisp is worth learning for the profound enlightenment experience
you will have when you finally get it; that experience will make you a better
programmer for the rest of your days, even if you never actually use Lisp
itself a lot." - Eric Raymond, "How to Become a Hacker"
"Lisp has jokingly been called "the most intelligent way to
misuse a computer". I think that description is a great compliment
because it transmits the full flavor of liberation: it
has assisted a number of our most gifted fellow humans in thinking
previously impossible thoughts." - Edsger Dijkstra, CACM, 15:10
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Department of Computer Science and
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Comments to: Maria Gini
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