Tell HN: My experience with Common Lisp as beginner

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  • sketch

    A Common Lisp framework for the creation of electronic art, visual design, game prototyping, game making, computer graphics, exploration of human-computer interaction, and more.

    I'm posting my experience hoping someone will tell me I'm doing it wrong and tell me a better way. I'm aware that I could use Racket or Clojure but I really wanted to try Common Lisp as a historically important language.

    2 days ago I posted a link that looked really interesting as a fun way to learn Common Lisp. See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29856110 or Sketch https://github.com/vydd/sketch

    Turns out it was previously posted and got good feedback so I decided to try it. I use Windows. There were several Common Lisp installations to choose from. I choose Clozure because it appeared to be developed by Mac users, so I thought it might to have features I liked.

    Clozure installation on Windows was fine. However, I ran into problems installing sketch because I had to build Simple Direct Media components https://www.libsdl.org/ and it wasn't clear ahead of time which ones. I didn't have MinGW, MSYS2 or Cygwin setup so instead I rooted around until I found SDL2.dll and libtiff.dll. Unfortunately, I couldn't find libffi.dll so had to build it. I installed MSYS2 but failed. Cygwin same thing. This is my fault as I never learned how to do this.

    I installed Steel Bank Common Lisp without problem hoping it might have what Sketch needs but it doesn't

    I gave up on Windows proper and installed WSL2 because I'm on a developers preview of Windows 11 and had read that it does graphics now. I installed Ubuntu 20 into it, but couldn't get it to work.

    I switched to my VMWare installation of Ubuntu 20 and failed there too, but I suspected there might be a conflict, so I installed a fresh copy of Ubuntu 20 in a new virtual machine.

    It worked! Very nice. I can do graphics with Common Lisp.

    I prefer not using VMWare so I am currently learning the difference between MSYS2, MinGW, Cygwin, and GnuMake32. I expect to have a Windows version working by the end of the day. I wondering if I should do a Docker image or maybe there is something better now? Last time I used Docker it seemed more difficult than it need to be.

    // These are the steps I took to make it work on Ubuntu. I don't use Linux that often so I'm sure there is a better way like combining some of these commands

    // Install dev tools

  • ccl

    Clozure Common Lisp

    git clone https://github.com/Clozure/ccl.git ccl-dev

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