Commit 084c84c9 authored by Ambrevar's avatar Ambrevar

modern-common-lisp: Rework introduction and humblify stance about the language.

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# TODO: Mention the macro-stepper and show a picture?
Common Lisp is a very powerful programming language, and yet it seems to only
enjoy a shy popularity. What is happening?
Common Lisp is a great language. Of course, it cannot be the best at
everything, it comes with its load of historical idiosyncrasies and it might not
be the language of the future.
I believe that for a large part the lack of popularity stems from myths of
forgotten times which bear little relevance today.
But there is one aspect of programming in which Common Lisp keeps it first
position after so many years: "interactive programming." Only few languages
come close (maybe Racket is one of them). Interactive programming boosts your
productivity so much that I believe it should always be part of the decision
process when it comes to choosing a language to work with. Hopefully this
advance in the practice of programming will be remembered when we design the
language of the future.
I believe that for this reason alone Common Lisp is worth learning (and using).
In the following article, I'm not going to proselytize the language: it's not
perfect and it won't suit everyone. I simply want to give a depiction more
accurate than the common misconceptions about the language, and hopefully help
the curious as well as the experienced user enhance their experience of
programming.
- You might be deterred from using Common Lisp for the wrong reasons. I'm going
to highlight a few of those common "wrong reasons" and if those match yours,
then I believe you ought to give it a try.
- Should you want to use Common Lisp, you might be exposed to aged practices or
bad tooling. In the following I'll try to catalogue as decent amount of the
most modern advances made in the Common Lisp ecosystem.
I believe that many negative misconceptions about the language stem from myths
of forgotten times which bear little relevance today.
Some common myths include:
......@@ -15,24 +40,11 @@ Some common myths include:
- Common Lisp is too specialized, it's not for general-purpose development.
- Common Lisp applications are hard to deploy.
And yet, some of these myths are so strong that they subsist today even among
Common Lisp developers who sometimes get stuck with bad practices or poor tools
simply because the news of the recent developments in the ecosystem haven't
reached them. Indeed, Common Lisp, as an extensible language, has modernized
Some of these myths subsist today even among Common Lisp developers, simply
because the news of the recent developments in the ecosystem haven't reached
them. Indeed, Common Lisp, as an extensible language, has modernized
tremendously over the last decades.
The following article is structured over the following axes:
- How to get started with Common Lisp, both in terms of language style,
practices and tooling, without dealing with the aging crufts that have been
superseded today.
- For both beginning and experienced Common Lisp developers, I'll share some
recommendations about style, libraries and the
tooling.
- Debunking some myths around the language itself as well as the practicalities.
Common Lisp is a gigantic programming language and ecosystem. As such, this
article is in no way exhaustive! I invite the community to reach out and share
their recommendations, corrections and other discussions!
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