Lisp at Introduction


LISP has always been known as a programming language for Artificial Intelligence but it is actually used as a general purpose language, running on all standard platforms (Windows, Unix, Linux, MacOS).

Lisp is an old language (it has been created by John McCarthy in 1958) but it has been designed to evolve. You can use Lisp to define new Lisp operators. That's one of the reasons why it has progressed a lot, in parallel with the evolution of hardware and computer engineering practice. It was one of the first object-oriented languages in the early 1970s; it has integrated functionality for graphical user interfaces, etc. And this evolutioncontinues, thanks to an active users community.

Lisp has now tools for the development of Web applications.

The main characteristics and advantages of LISP are the following :

  • simple and clear syntax
  • high expression and abstraction power
  • dynamic object-oriented language
  • automatic memory management
  • efficient development environments
  • performance similar to C/C++
  • portability

Common Lisp, the commercially-dominant Lisp dialect is an ANSI standard since end of 1994.
See Gartner Group report on Common Lisp.
An internal report about Lisp (French only) develops the ideas mentionned here above.


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Last update : 22/12/2000