Sean Champ
I found out about Common Lisp, initially, thanks to the 'cl' elisp library and XEmacs.

My primary goals, at present, in regards to Common Lisp are:

  • gain an understanding of the internals of CMUCL
  • get comfortable with a Common Lisp Graphics Toolkit
  • build a general project management system, with IMHO and UncommonSQL, and incoporating the Volere templates for requirements/systems engineering

I can be reached by email, as gimbal (at)

Here's my response to The Road to Lisp Survey:

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

It was sometime in 1999, after I'd got a K6-II to replace my old Tandy 1000 RL computer.

At some point, I found out about XEmacs; I started to learn Emacs Lisp, as I customized my XEmacs init file.

Later, I found out about cl.el, then about Common Lisp.

Once I had Debian Linux installed, I put CMUCL onto my box, and have been using it off-and-on since then.

What led you to try Lisp?

I wanted a good text-editor; XEmacs fit the bill. The fact that I was able to customize its behaviors, using a language that, once learned, made sense to me, was the proverbial icing on the desktop.

Where did your road originate?

The first programming language that I'd used was BASIC, on a Tandy Color Computer 3.

Incidentally, I once tried making a German-language tutor in BASIC (which was supposed to test the user, me, about vocabulary, noun/gender pairing, and verb conjugation, and would play "Ach, du Lieber Augustin" during the "splash-screen" sequence), but I had no idea, then, of how to use a file for data storage, or that such a thing was even available as a technique. It was an isolated effort, during my Senior year in high school. I abandoned it, when realizing how much of a hassle it was going to be, to "hard-code" the words database as a piece of static BASIC script.

How far have you gotten in your study of Lisp?

far enough to be dedicated to using it in the long run, and to be bent on, eventually, making (and selling, perhaps with a "free for non-commercial use" license, as well) a Lisp OS; laugh as some may, at the sound of that ...

What do you think of Lisp so far?

It makes sense, generally.

As for Common Lisp, in particular:

I wish that REMF was named DELF, to indicate that it destructively modifies the list.

I wonder if CLOS seems so "strange" within the CL proper, given the influence that SmallTalk may've had on it [CLHS section 1.1.2, paragrahps 11 and 12]

I get really tired of people complaining about ((((parenthesis)))), when I mention it, in some places.

I like Common Lisp, and I plan on using it more, as time, circumstances, and knowledge allow.

I continue to use Emacs Lisp, also, for getting my XEmacs set-up to my liking.