Download [Article] The Evolution of Lisp by Guy L. Steele Jr., Richard P. Gabriel PDF

Download [Article] The Evolution of Lisp by Guy L. Steele Jr., Richard P. Gabriel PDF

By Guy L. Steele Jr., Richard P. Gabriel

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Franz decided to go into the Common Lisp market, funding the effort with the proceeds from its Franz Lisp sales. The principal founders of Franz are Fritz Kunze, John Foderaro, and Richard Fateman. Kunze was a PhD student of Fateman’s at the University of California at Berkeley in the mathematics department; Foderaro, having already obtained his PhD under Fateman, became the primary architect and implementor of the various Lisps offered by Franz, Inc. Fateman, one of the original implementors of Macsyma at MIT, carried the MacLisp/Lisp torch to Berkeley, and he was responsible for the porting of Macsyma to the Vax.

Syntactic closures provide great power and flexibility but put the burden on the programmer to use them properly. In 1990, William Clinger (who used to be at Indiana University) joined forces with Rees to propose a grand synthesis that combines the benefits of hygienic macros and syntactic closures, with the added advantage of running in linear rather than quadratic time. Their technique is called, appropriately enough, “macros that work” [Clinger, 1991]. The key insight may be explained by analogy to reduction in the lambda calculus.

In this way the same pointer serves for both nil the symbol and () the empty list pseudo-cons whose car and cdr are both nil. There is a danger in using a quick test for the end of a list; a list might turn out to be improper, that is, ending in an object that is neither the empty list nor a cons cell. , (A B . C), or worse, a number or string, could cause bizarre effects. , terminate by an nlistp check, rather than the conventional null-check, as a safety precaution against encountering data types which might cause infinite cdr loops .

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