Welcome to the Dictionary of Programming Languages, a compendium
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List of Names
- Language type:
F - Functional or lambda-based
Lisp is an extremely rich and powerful
programming language that has enjoyed
continuous use and popularity since the
mid-1960s. Typically, Lisp programming
systems are interpreters, but compilers
are also commonly used.
The Lisp language is founded on the
representational power of "S-expressions",
and employment of functional composition
and recursion. Lisp is a weakly typed
language with excellent support for
reflection and on-the-fly code generation
and interpreting. The language's extreme
flexibility, expressive power, and its
ability to treat code as data, made it
the undisputed king of Artificial Intelligence
research for all of the 1970s and 1980s.
All Lisp implementations since the late 1960s
have offered a set of programming features tough to
equal in any language, even today: macros, string handling,
recursion, closures, reflection, packaging, arrays, and
extensive IO facilities.
Modern Lisp systems support object-oriented
programming, database access, GUI construction,
and all other forms of general-purpose
programming. A very mature language, Lisp
is extremely well-documented, and the
most widespread dialect, Common Lisp,
codified by ANSI and international standards.
- See Also:
Lisp is taught as a part of most computer
science undergraduate programs. Commercial
and free Lisp programming systems are
available for all major computing platforms,
and there is even Lisp-specific processing hardware.
Of course, one thing everybody remembers
who ever programmed in Lisp is the
profusion of parentheses.
The evolution of Lisp is a fascinating
study in the growth of a specific
scion of computer science over thirty
of the most active years of the field.
Possibly the first really powerful
interpreted computer language, Lisp
has profound influence on the AI and
programming language design fields since
their very inception. Several good
historical retrospectives on Lisp are
long (Compressed PS).
- Sample code:
Descriptions in this dictionary are ©1997-99 Neal Ziring. Some
examples copyright of their respective authors. Some
technologies and languages are trademarked. Permission to
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Dictionary and script maintained by Neal Ziring, last major modifications 3/18/98. Most recent
additions to dictionary and master list, 1/00.