Practical Lisp 2008

A little more than three years ago there was a thread in comp.lang.lisp about what people were working on in Common Lisp. I found the replies, some summarized here, quite inspirational; they were from people doing practical stuff (even Real Work) with Common Lisp, beyond things like going through Project Euler or doing exercises from SICP. (Not that those aren't fine things to do, but.)

Let's update this. What are you using Common Lisp for in 2008? What are you using to do it? I'll start:

I mostly use Common Lisp to make graphics toys at To that end I'm always looking for new ways to produce or consume graphics-related things. For example, I'm adding support for processing OpenType fonts to ZPB-TTF and making a hybrid of Skippy and Vecto to produce simple vector-oriented animations. I'd also like to add APNG support to ZPNG.

I primarily use SBCL on Linux, x86 and x86-64, with Emacs and SLIME. For deploying all my website stuff I use Edi-ware extensively: Hunchentoot, HTML-TEMPLATE, and CL-WHO. I use CLSQL for a few things too. For graphics work, I use mostly my own libraries.

How about you? Leave a comment and let me know.




I am working for ITA Software as a hacker, mostly programming in Common Lisp. I also maintain two commercial projects using CL: is an image database used by two graphics designers to publish their work on the Web, the other is which is a web site to gather donations for an Orang Utan preservation project in Indonesia.

Both systems will be majorly updated during this year. RSS feeds are high on the list, Quickhoney wants a shop and will move into Google Earth. They currently run on cmucl 19c, but they will either be upgraded to cmucl 19e or SBCL for better Unicode support. They are both based on the framework and deployed on FreeBSD. I am pretty much absorbed by ITA work, but I have a hacker working on BKNR and the associated projects full-time.

Libray wise, we are moving away from Portable Aserve to Hunchentoot. We use CXML, CL-GD, CL-PPCRE, CL-INTERPOL, CL-PDF, CL-MIME, CL-SMTP, CL-JSON, DRAKMA and ALEXANDRIA.

We are also working on the Framework to make it officially support CCL, SBCL and cmucl (as soon as 19E is released). One of our goals is fully automated testing of BKNR and its dependencies on all supported platforms. We are currently testing on FreeBSD/amd64, FreeBSD/i386 and Linux/i386.

September 2014

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