Joel Ray Holveck
I, Joel Ray Holveck, do solemnly offer these my responses to The Road to Lisp Survey:

When did you first try Lisp seriously, and which Lisp family member was it?

In 1992, I was in high school, and decided to try Lisp. I found a free Common Lisp implementation for DOS (the only OS I knew at the time), and studied it enough to get some basic ideas about what Lisp was and what it could do.

For what I was doing in those days, Lisp was not the answer (except for building up a copious .emacs file two years later when I found Emacs). But I never forgot what I had learned of Lisp, and when future projects came up when it was the right language, I knew what to pull from my arsenal.

It wasn't until 1996 that I had established Lisp as my first-choice language for almost all my projects... but since it had been a part of my toolbox since '92, that's what I put down.

What led you to try Lisp?

I had studied the ways of the MIT hackers, and tried to model my programming ways after it. (Much of my source material was Steven Levy's Hackers and the Jargon File.) I learned how fond these hackers were of Lisp, and decided that it was worth looking into.

Where did your road originate?

Prior to 1992, C was my main language. While Lisp was part of my toolbox for a long time, Perl was a bigger part from 1994-1996. I waffled a lot between C, Lisp, and Perl, giving them roughly equal share until 2001. Today, Lisp is far and away my language of choice for most projects, although C and Perl still play their parts due to technical needs or political concerns.

How far have you gotten in your study of Lisp?

I'm a professional programmer, and my primary language for the last two years has been Lisp. I use the MOP now and again as it suits my needs, but so far only the introspective aspects. One of my projects is CLIM-based. Other projects include

What do you think of Lisp so far?

I think it's great. It gives me the freedom to concentrate on the problem, rather than the language representation. The language is rich and complete. On the rare cases that there's something extra I need in the language, I can add it.

Switch Date 1990s
Seek and Ye Shall Find | RtL Language Curiosity