When did you first try Lisp seriously, and which Lisp family member was it?
Emacs Lisp in 1997, at a summer job. I had used Linux before, and had heard of the mighty Emacs editor, but hadn't had a chance to use it. The primary motivation was to try out the Gnus newsreader. Configuring it meant learning rudimentary Elisp.
Later that year I began reading SICP, as the Helsinki University of Technology uses it for their first programming course. I was then told that Common Lisp would be "Scheme's big brother", and that Franz distributed free trial versions of Allegro CL 4.2. I ordered one, but never installed it due to technical problems ;-)
What led you to try Lisp?
The need to configure Emacs and academic self-interest. In the case of Common Lisp, I had heard of the language, and of the good things it did, but the final nail was reading Erik Naggum's insightful articles in comp.lang.scheme.
Where did your road originate?
I can't really tell; After hacking Elisp and Scheme and reading the Hyperspec, CL just grew on me.
How far have you gotten in your study of Lisp?
I'm familiar with most of the concepts, but I haven't had a chance to properly try them out. Most of my programs haven't reached even the 1000 line limit. I have participated to ICFP 2001, 2002 and 2003 programming contests with a Lisp entry, with varying success and have also used Lisp in university exercises whenever possible.
Most of my Lisp hacking I just dabble around in the REPL trying out something I just read in the HyperSpec, like a guitar player practicing new chords, who hasn't yet written his first proper song ;)
What do you think of Lisp so far?
It's pretty neat. I wish I could use it at work, but at the moment I'm just not fluent enough with it to get the orders-of-magnitude boost people are describing.
Switch Date 1990s RtL Language Curiosity | RtL Word of Mouth | RtL Emacs Elisp | RtL SICP RtL Erik Naggum