David Golden's Road to Lisp
I, David Golden, do solemnly offer these my responses to The Road to Lisp Survey:

When did you first try Lisp (meaning here and throughout the survey "any member of the Lisp family") seriously, and which Lisp family member was it?

AutoLisp in late 90s (1996 maybe, or a bit later?). I was once a young, carefree mechanical engineering student. AutoLisp wasn't really all that nice, though. :-) After a hiatus, went Scheme-wards for a while, but Common Lisp is currently proving to be a better fit for getting stuff done. Also picked up enough emacs lisp to get by.

What led you to try Lisp?

Vague interest in parametric CAD, initially. Later the beauty and expressiveness of the language.

If you were trying Lisp out of unhappiness with another language, what was that other language and what did you not like about it, or what were you hoping to find different in Lisp?


How far have you gotten in your study of Lisp? (I know, that is hard to measure)

Not too bad. Wouldn't say I'm proficient in Common Lisp yet, and tend to use somewhat Scheme-like idioms. I've got a pretty decent CL bookshelf - The only thing I really miss is a printed copy of "On Lisp", it's just too painful reading it on screen (I suppose I could buy a printer...). I've never even remotely had the chance to use Common Lisp professionally, so I'm a rank beginner in practical coding to a deadline or to a plan terms, but it's my language of choice for my own messing around in, and that's what really matters :-).

What do you think of Lisp so far?

It Sucks Less.

The are bits and pieces that apparently need improvement in Common Lisp, but I'm hardly testing the limits of the language at the moment - I might at some stage since I'm interested in parallel programming, which I've heard people say necessitates changes to lisp. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Free Software guy, so I miss out on some useful things, but the Free CL world is rapidly catching up.

Survey filled out in July 2003.

Switch Date 1990s RtL AutoCad AutoLisp