Marc Mertens's Road to Lisp
Describe Marc Mertens's Road to Lisp here I, Marc Mertens, 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?
The first Lisp I used was a obscure implementation on a BBC Model B computer, memory was limited to 32K and only integers where supported. The Lisp system was stored in ROM so when you turned the computer on it was directly available. I later switched to a Acorn Archimedes which had a Cambridge Lisp with a descent compiler.

What led you to try Lisp?
I wanted to write a program to do symbolic mathematics (calculating the derivates of a function, simple algebraic manipulation ...). I tried to do this in Forth, Basic and Pascal but finally settled for Lisp.

Where did your road originate?
I programmed before in Fortran, Basic, Pascal, Cobol and Forth but I wanted a language which was mathematical oriented, extensible and had the base concept of symbols and could do exact arithmetic.

How far have you gotten in your study of Lisp?
I'm fairly fluent in Lisp although I don't use it in my profession (where I use dark languages like C# and

What do you think of Lisp so far? As one of the oldest languages around (I was born in the year Lisp saw the light) I think it is one of the most mature, flexible, powerfull and precise languages. Some functional or logical languages are maybe more mathematical beautifull (Miranda, Prolog) but they are less practical then Lisp. Other languages like Java,Pascal, C#, C or C++ requires a less formal way of thinking (this can make them easier to learn for some people) and because of this leads to error prone and difficult to maintain programs.

Please delete all but one of these cross-referencing tags: Switch Date 1980s