Common Lisp: An Interactive Approach (1992) [pdf]

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  • clog

    CLOG - The Common Lisp Omnificent GUI

  • For me David Botton [0] with his work including code, support and videos is doing very nice work in this direction.

    I use SBCL for everything but work because I cannot get; we are getting there, but like you say, it’s such a nice experience working interactively building fast that it is magic and it’s painful returning to my daily work of Python and typescript/react. It feels like a waste of time/life, really.

    [0] https://github.com/rabbibotton/clog

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  • awesome-cl

    A curated list of awesome Common Lisp frameworks, libraries and other shiny stuff.

  • check out the editor section, there's more than Emacs these days: https://lispcookbook.github.io/cl-cookbook/editor-support.ht...

    - https://github.com/CodyReichert/awesome-cl for libraries

    - https://www.classcentral.com/report/best-lisp-courses/#ancho...

    - a recent overview of the ecosystem: https://lisp-journey.gitlab.io/blog/these-years-in-common-li... (shameless plug, on HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=34321090)

  • cl-cookbook

    The Common Lisp Cookbook

  • check out the editor section, there's more than Emacs these days: https://lispcookbook.github.io/cl-cookbook/editor-support.ht...

    - https://github.com/CodyReichert/awesome-cl for libraries

    - https://www.classcentral.com/report/best-lisp-courses/#ancho...

    - a recent overview of the ecosystem: https://lisp-journey.gitlab.io/blog/these-years-in-common-li... (shameless plug, on HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=34321090)

  • lisp-maintainers

    Common Lisp developers you can support.

  • A thing you could do right now is sponsor people that contribute to SBCL, to Lisp libraries or who make videos ;) For example, the person behind the new parallel GC for SBCL: https://github.com/no-defun-allowed or Shinmera or more https://github.com/vindarel/lisp-maintainers and one could reach to the CL Foundation too.

  • defstar

    Type declarations for defun et all. Just a mirror. Ask for push acess!

  • there is also https://github.com/lisp-maintainers/defstar for providing more ergonomic type declarations inline in definitions

    And this is another thing I'm not sure how to explain, I thought CL is surely more verbose and ugly than python for small scripts, but maybe it's macros will make it cleaner for building large systems. But then when I started writing actual programs, even small programs without any of my own macros, I generally use about 30% less LoC than in python... I've thought about making sly/slime like support for python (built on ipython with autoreload extension) or ruby (with it's fairly new low-overhead debug gem). But at the end of the day support for these things will always be incomplete and a hack compared to CL where it was designed from the start to support it, they run 20-100x slower than CL, and imo their runtime metaprogramming is harder to reason about than CL which is mostly compile time metaprogramming. When I've had to dig into some CL library, which is a lot more often than in those languages because it has 10000x fewer users so of course I will be first to run into some issue, it has generally been easy to understand what is going on and fix it, compared to large codebases in other languages.

    Regarding "modern type-safe language", languages with expressive type systems, rust, ocaml, haskell, typescript, etc, can give really confusing type errors, when you get into generics and traits and more expressive stuff. I'm not convinced it's a better development experience than a dynamically typed languages where values have simple types, and when you get a type error you see the actual contents of the variable that is the wrong type and state of the program, at least in the case of CL where the stack isn't unwound on error and runtime is kind of compile-time as you're running all code as you write it. But mostly this sort of interactive development is very hard to implement in static languages, I'm not aware of any that does it. For example even in static langs like ocaml that have a repl through a bytecode interpreter, simple things don't work like say you pass some function as an event handler, and then update the function. As you passed efectively a function pointer to the old definition, rather than a symbol name like lisp, it will be calling the original function not the new version. But the main issue is that efficient staticly typed languages the type system is all at compile time, type information doesn't exist at runtime, which is great for performance, but means you don't get the ability to introspect on your running program like you do in CL and elixir, which personally I value more than full compile-time type checking.

    Would I like some new language or heavy modification of existing language runtime that provides the best of everything? of course, but I also realize that it's a huge amount of work and won't happen with 10 years, while I can have a nice experience hacking away in CL and emacs right now. And ultimately CL is an extremely flexible language and I think it'll be less work to build on CL than to provide a CL like runtime for some other language. For example projects really pushing the edge there is Coalton described above. While personally I prefer dynamicly typed for general application programming I think Coalton could be great for compilers, parsing some protocol, or writing some subparts of your program in. And vernacular (https://github.com/ruricolist/vernacular) which explores bringing racket's lang and macro system to CL. For more standard CL code, using extremely common and widely used libraries like alexandria, serapeum, trivia, etc, already makes CL into a fairly modern and ergonomic language to write.

  • vernacular

    Module system for languages that compile to Common Lisp

  • there is also https://github.com/lisp-maintainers/defstar for providing more ergonomic type declarations inline in definitions

    And this is another thing I'm not sure how to explain, I thought CL is surely more verbose and ugly than python for small scripts, but maybe it's macros will make it cleaner for building large systems. But then when I started writing actual programs, even small programs without any of my own macros, I generally use about 30% less LoC than in python... I've thought about making sly/slime like support for python (built on ipython with autoreload extension) or ruby (with it's fairly new low-overhead debug gem). But at the end of the day support for these things will always be incomplete and a hack compared to CL where it was designed from the start to support it, they run 20-100x slower than CL, and imo their runtime metaprogramming is harder to reason about than CL which is mostly compile time metaprogramming. When I've had to dig into some CL library, which is a lot more often than in those languages because it has 10000x fewer users so of course I will be first to run into some issue, it has generally been easy to understand what is going on and fix it, compared to large codebases in other languages.

    Regarding "modern type-safe language", languages with expressive type systems, rust, ocaml, haskell, typescript, etc, can give really confusing type errors, when you get into generics and traits and more expressive stuff. I'm not convinced it's a better development experience than a dynamically typed languages where values have simple types, and when you get a type error you see the actual contents of the variable that is the wrong type and state of the program, at least in the case of CL where the stack isn't unwound on error and runtime is kind of compile-time as you're running all code as you write it. But mostly this sort of interactive development is very hard to implement in static languages, I'm not aware of any that does it. For example even in static langs like ocaml that have a repl through a bytecode interpreter, simple things don't work like say you pass some function as an event handler, and then update the function. As you passed efectively a function pointer to the old definition, rather than a symbol name like lisp, it will be calling the original function not the new version. But the main issue is that efficient staticly typed languages the type system is all at compile time, type information doesn't exist at runtime, which is great for performance, but means you don't get the ability to introspect on your running program like you do in CL and elixir, which personally I value more than full compile-time type checking.

    Would I like some new language or heavy modification of existing language runtime that provides the best of everything? of course, but I also realize that it's a huge amount of work and won't happen with 10 years, while I can have a nice experience hacking away in CL and emacs right now. And ultimately CL is an extremely flexible language and I think it'll be less work to build on CL than to provide a CL like runtime for some other language. For example projects really pushing the edge there is Coalton described above. While personally I prefer dynamicly typed for general application programming I think Coalton could be great for compilers, parsing some protocol, or writing some subparts of your program in. And vernacular (https://github.com/ruricolist/vernacular) which explores bringing racket's lang and macro system to CL. For more standard CL code, using extremely common and widely used libraries like alexandria, serapeum, trivia, etc, already makes CL into a fairly modern and ergonomic language to write.

  • lparallel

    Parallelism for Common Lisp (by sharplispers)

  • thanks. Indeed, lparallel is maintained on the sharplispers' fork: https://github.com/sharplispers/lparallel I updated the awesome-cl and Cookbook links.

    FiveAM is still a very good solution, difficult to replace. We didn't replace it with another test framework, and we looked at a few of them. Rove doesn't live on its promise to run `rove ` on the command line for example.

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