When did you first try Lisp seriously, and which Lisp family member was it?
My first exposure to a Lisp was elisp, which I started using in 2001 shortly after I started using emacs. I wrote a fair amount of code and was impressed with how expressive the language was.
What led you to try Lisp?
I was at a book fair and found a second-hand copy of Touretzky's "Common Lisp: A Gentle Introduction to Symbolic Computation". At this point, I would have been using elisp for around a year, but don't think I'd ever even heard of CL, and assumed it was some Lisp dialect that had long since been forgotten. Still, I thought the book might be an interesting read and bought it.
I read the book from cover to cover and enjoyed it, but it wasn't until I started searching the web for more stuff that I realised I hadn't been reading about a dead language. Fairly soon I landed at Paul Graham's site and read most of his articles. I installed clisp and started fiddling around with it.
Where did your road originate?
I didn't really come to Lisp because of bad experiences or lack of features of other languages (I wasn't aware of them at the time). I guess it was a combination of curiosity and just wanting to customise my editor/mail client.
How far have you gotten in your study of Lisp?
(I know, that is hard to measure)
There's no shortage of stuff still to learn, and I like it. I've read Touretzky's book, Paul Graham's two books, the SICP, various guides kindly made available for free on the web, and I'm working my way through Norvig's book at the moment. I've written a few small apps using CL, and use it for most of my shell scripting these days.
What do you think of Lisp so far?
Love it. It fits in my head, and has changed the way I think about programming.
Switch Date 2002 | RtL Emacs Elisp | RtL Paul Graham