Responses to the Quicklisp CL survey

I got over 500 responses to my CL survey. Here are a few charts to summarize the data.

What CL implementations do you use regularly?

More than 80% of responders use SBCL. Clozure is next with around 30%.

What operating systems do you use with CL regularly?

Almost 80% use Linux. I was surprised that Mac and Windows are so similar. Most of the CL nerds I know use Macs.

What programming languages do you use regularly?

75% use CL regularly. (I kinda expected this to be 100%.) But I was surprised by how few responders are also using Ruby and Clojure, relatively speaking, and how many are using C.

How do you interact with other CL users?

I was a little surprised to see that almost 25% of responders claim not to interact with other CL users at all.

How do you manage CL libraries?

Almost 60% don't do anything special. And asdf-install, despite its flaws, is a semi-popular option.

How do you use CL?

Over 80% use CL for hobby projects, but about as many people use CL in a primary role for paid projects as in a supporting role for paid projects.

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Comments

(Anonymous)

Lisp survey

I'd be interested in seeing the distribution of the ages of the survey responders. I came to Lisp late (in my 50's); how well are younger users being evangelized?
Cool results!

Is there a pattern to the color gradients you use for the bars?

(Anonymous)

AFAIK, these graphs are generated automatically by google docs. They tend to use similar colour schemes, where the bigger the value, the more saturated the colour, and all are hues of the same base colour.
Google picked them automagically.

(Anonymous)

Relationships

Do you intend on making the data public (minus any identifying remarks, etc)? It would be very interesting to see the relationships between these graphs as well.

Re: Relationships

I agree - for example, I'd imagine asdf-install is not as popular on Win's as on Linux's, is that true? What other 'weak' combinations are there (that could then be fixed)?

(Anonymous)

Uncomunicative users

(:in-cheek
(:tongue
Obviously,
1. Nothing says "He was quiet, and a loner" like being a (Common) Lisp user.
2. Mac Lisp users tend to be more social.))

(Anonymous)

Popularity of implementation on an OS basis

It would be interesting to see a break down by OS. e.g. On Windows, Implementation XYZ was NN%, Implementation ABC was MM% etc. Is the raw data suitable for providing insight into that?

(Anonymous)

Surprises, and non-surprises

I'm not surprised Windows is so 'popular': it's what a lot of people use at work. I work, and I use Lisp to be more productive at work, so I use Lisp on Windows, sometimes.

I'm surprised Ruby is so low (lower than Python!), but not that Clojure is. I've already got CL! :-)

I'm not surprised that so many don't interact at all. Lisp is a simple language (so I need almost no tech support), and a powerful one (so I can do things on my own). Plus, there isn't really any good online place for Lisp any more -- comp.lang.lisp was OK but today it's all full of spam, and Google Groups apparently doesn't have a spam filter (or even killfiles), and I'm way too lazy to find an alternative way to browse Usenet. :-)

When I see Lisp questions online, 49% of them are "How do I implement this trivial function in Lisp?" (i.e., homework), 49% of them are "I can't figure out packages/libraries" (gah...), and 2% of them are actually interesting questions. Complex languages like C++ and C# can have rich, vibrant forums with people discussing subtle syntax issues and what's coming in next year's version of the language. We really don't have that to fall back on. :-)

July 2014

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