Nikodemus Siivola'a Road to Lisp
Nikodemus Siivola'a Road to Lisp

I, Nikodemus Siivola'a, 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?

I learnt Scheme in school (Helsinki University of Technology) in 1996, but it wasn't till 2002 that I met, and fell in love with, Common Lisp.

What led you to try Lisp?

For Scheme it was a course requirement, but Common Lisp is a different story: around 2002 I was learning (and using extensively at work) Ruby. Common Lisp came up several times on ruby-talk, consistently in positive light. Then I encountered Paul Graham's essay's and Richard Gabriels "Worse Is Better". This was soon followed by installing CMUCL and exclaiming: "Hey! No-one told me this compiles to native!", and the sound of palm striking forehead...

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?

Native compilers, macros and multiple dispatch: they were the features that ruby didn't have that I was interested in.

I was doing some stuff in C (when I needed the speed) and some stuff in Ruby (when I wanted to enjoy myself), and Common Lisp seemed capable of both.

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

Reasonably. I had a pretty solid background (but no great experience) in Scheme before starting with CL. Graham's ANSI Common Lisp was my initial guide to the language.

But the process continues...

What do you think of Lisp so far?

Dogs bollocks!

RtL Word of Mouth, RtL Paul Graham, RtL Formal Education, RtL Richard Gabriel, Switch Date 2002