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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 Wigflip.com. 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.



Dead languages! (Lisp is like ancient Greek, no?)

I'm really not a huge fan of the web — insanely impoverished interface, a nuisance to debug, stateless nightmares galore. And yet I, too, am working on a web application. In November the Perseus Project (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/) open sourced a bunch of their Greek and Latin texts along with the scary Java code that runs their site now. I'm trying to write my own stripped down interface to the texts (view, morphology and dictionary lookup) at first, then add the ability for anyone to annotate bits of text with questions, grammar comments, etc., etc., a Perseus-wiki hybrid (with fussier editorial control).

I'm a Unix sysadmin by day, and I've not yet decided to alienate my colleagues by using Lisp at work, though if I ever decide to finally revolutionize the practice of system monitoring, it sure ain't going to be in perl. That day approaches.

I use mostly SBCL on OSX and Linux, Emacs+SLIME. I, too, use a lot of Edi-ware, but thanks to the XML encoding of the Perseus texts, a lot of Lichtblau-ware, as well.