Donald Fisk's Road to Lisp
I, Donald Fisk, 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?

End of 1982. Portable Standard Lisp on a Burroughs 6800.

What led you to try Lisp?

I was interested in Artificial Intelligence. This started a year earlier when I heard a piece of computer generated music, and thought it sounded awful. I thought I could do better, and so started writing a program (in Basic) which composed music. A friend recognized what I was doing was AI and suggested I should look at Lisp, so I bought Lisp, by Winston and Horn, first edition. (He also showed me a copy of K&R, but when I looked at C, I thought it was horribly old-fashioned and so didn't learn it until many years later.)

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?

Not applicable.

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

I've done a lot of programming in Lisp, both commercially and as a hobby, and implemented my own dialect, Emblem.

There are still bits of Common Lisp I don't know well, but it is a big language, and you can get by on a subset.

What do you think of Lisp so far?

If I find a better language, I'll let you know. There are bits (e.g. the package system) I'm unhappy with, but I don't have any ideas for alternatives yet.

Switch Date 1980s RtL AI RtL Word of Mouth