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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.



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I used SBCL and UCW to implement clone of FreeSide (http://www.freeside.biz/freeside/) billing system at http://card.surnet.ru .
Now in production for 3 years.

Last time I complitely rewrote Cells-GTK using Verrazano (http://common-lisp.net/project/fetter/) to autogenerate mostly all widgets
and signal handlers from GTK introspection. Also added GooCanvas (http://sourceforge.net/projects/goocanvas) support.

Not satisfied with Cells I'm experimenting with binding KR and other parts of Garnet to GTK now.


from mikel evins

This time around I'm working on Clozure Common Lisp. In my rather limited spare time I'm working (ever so slowly) on a network game. Mainly I use Clozure Common Lisp (formerly OpenMCL) for both, plus a few libraries, notably some made by Sven Van Caekenberghe and Edi Weitz.


We are compiling COBOL & CA-IDEAL to Java or C# with Common Lisp. Currently, we work with Lispworks.

Nothing particularly exciting, but we are doing control flow refactoring and mapping from say network databases to relational model.

main features are translation and BRE.

My development machine runs Linux, but it is a windows app, so my development is done inside VMWare (gonna get rid of it though after some tweaks to make it really cross-platform :) )

I am using Lispworks IDE at the moment. Emacs is/was my personal preference, but I got seduced by LW tools :)

Lately we moved to embrace and use some of freely available Common Lisp libraries. At this stage, only a little bit - however there are plans on using cl-ppcre extensively e.g..
For development, I used SBCL with Cusp (which I wrote) on OS X, but I recently switched to Linux. My Lisp work is almost all in the realm of web applications. I wrote most of the web portion of paragent (http://www.paragent.com) and have also used it in a few other consulting projects. In terms of libraries, I use UCW and CLSQL extensively. There's also a little Ironclad (primarily to hash user passwords), cl-smtp, and doubtless numerous other smaller libraries. I'm pretty sure we also used an incarnation of your image libraries at some point to generate graphs.

To sum up: web pages running in SBCL, developed in Cusp, depending on UCW and CLSQL.


Building CLforJava

I'm in charge of the development of CLforJava - a new version of CL that's intertwined with Java. The project home is in the CS department of the College of Charleston. The work is done by (mostly) undergraduates as part of their software engineering education. There are some papers from the ILC and European lisp gatherings, including the upcoming European Lisp Symposium in Bordeaux.

We're beyond the half-way mark to a V1.0. There's enough working now that most of the remaining work can be done in CLforJava itself, including a rewrite of the compiler in Lisp. While this is an Open Source project, it's primarily a teaching and research project. I'm proud to say that, from a small department, to date we've sent 127 graduates into the working world with knowledge and respect for Lisp and its uses.
Three things: I'm exploring an MH-inspired mail agent called "mu", I've got the inevitable reinvention of artificial neural networks for no good reason for some personal projects, and I'm pushing CL's use in a multi-spectral remote-sensing project later this year. Hmm, only 1/3 of that is work related... on the other hand, I've gotten a few of my friends to start exploring CL.

Platforms are pretty much OpenMCL and SBCL, running on PPC and UltraSPARC. I'll probably be on x86 later this year.

Professional Lisp

I feel very lucky to be using Lisp on a daily basis while getting paid for it. In recent history, I have developed the following, all in Lisp:
* Multimedia catalog management and encoding system for a mobile content provider,
* Monitoring, alerting, graphing and analysis application for distributed systems (a la Zabbix, but with more features. Hopefully this one will be released as open source very soon.)
* Voicemail management application (as an add-on to Cisco's Unity platform)

The following are in the works:
* Multi-location comic book store ERP system
* Distributed, fault tolerant data store (think Elephant married with NetCLOS)

I prefer to use SBCL, but have also worked with Clozure and Lispworks. Edi's code has made many things so much easier; I use Hunchentoot, HTML-Template, cl-ppcre and cl-who quite a lot. I also use Elephant, GBBOpen, Ironclad, cl-json, py-configparser, s-xml, mel, adw-charting, vecto, cl-gd, plokami, and lisp-magick.

Re: Professional Lisp

Sounds really neat. Got any pictures/screenshots you can share?
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