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Some resources for Lisp. I almost want to make some personal observation about Lisp -- I had to take a course in it a long time ago, and thought it was the silliest thing I ever saw (or the toughest to understand, or both). Then Autocad came along and ordinary people wrote programs in Lisp -- I didn't dig into it, but it surprised the heck out of me. Then I hear people talking about two families of languages, C based and Lisp based, and the concept that modern programming language design tends to incorporate things from Lisp into C based languages. (I guess sort of like what I saw as Fortran evolved by borrowing from Algol.) Anyway, the article by Pascal Costanza, below (and some of the links) almost makes me feel like I understand (or can understand) Lisp. Not sure I want to take the time to, at this point in time, but I probably could.

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See ResourceRecommendations. Feel free to add additional resources to these lists, but please follow the guidelines on ResourceRecommendations including ResourceRecommendations#Guidelines_for_Rating_Resources.


  • (rhk) Pascal Costanza's Highly Opinionated Guide to Lisp; v1.23, 2/9/2002 -- This is good (or better)! Lots of resources, but also some insights that make me think I'm on the verge of actually understanding Lisp (but then reality hits). Read this, see especially two examples that include things like a for loop in Lisp -- in some ways you can think of list as a language in which you can write any other computer language (maybe, anyway). Many of the resources listed in the article could / should be added to this page, but really, they're on that page!
  • lisp-p.org -- aka Yadda Lambda -- apparently a web site devoted to Lisp that includes (sometimes at least) articles like the Pascal Costanza article listed above.
  • The Common Lisp HyperSpec: 26.1 Glossary; ; — This is a glossary, but also seems to be part of an entire online book from my favorite university — start at Chapter Index


  • "Lisp: The Language of Artificial Intelligence"; A. A. Berk; © 1985, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company; ISBN: 0-442=20974-6 — Excellent book — I finally am learning LISP (or certainly could) — I'll probably start a new page based on what I've learned / am learning from this book.

Recommended for Specific Needs

  • (rhk) Revenge of the Nerds; May 2002; Paul Graham -- "This is an expanded version of the keynote lecture at the International ICAD User's Group conference in May 2002. It explains how a language developed in 1958 manages to be the most powerful available even today, what power is and when you need it, and why pointy-haired bosses (ideally, your competitors' pointy-haired bosses) deliberately ignore this issue."
  • (rhk) Re: Revenge of the Nerds; -- Interesting, and some good links -- revisit.
  • (rhk) On Lisp -- book (dead tree) by Paul Graham -- now downloadable -- probably worth getting and at least perusing
  • (rhk) Beating the Averages; Paul Graham; April 2001 -- "This article is derived from a talk given at the Franz Developer Symposium in Cambridge, MA, on March 25, 2001. It describes how we used Lisp to write Viaweb Store, which is still, as Yahoo! Store, the most popular e-commerce software, running about 14,000 stores."

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Recommended by Others

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No Recommendation

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Not Recommended

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  • () RandyKramer - 30 Aug 2002
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