Introduction to LISP

by Jef Mangelschots  (!!!! UNDER CONSTRUCTION !!!!)

The class for the June 2010 was "Introduction to LISP" by Bruce Weimer. This tutorial is an overview of what was covered in that short introductory class. This article will cover the introduction to LISP and how to get started. A follow-up article will introduce you to using LISP in a LEAF robot.


Long-time RSSC member Bruce Weimer always jokes that he is probably one of the last two people alive on this planet that still programs in LISP. That is not completely true. Bruce is the co-founder of the Leaf project, and in that capacity he contributed the AI modules. These, off course, were programmed in LISP. By doing that, he 'poisoned' the minds a whole new generation of would-be-Leaf-owners.

Bruce, who fell in love with LISP in college, and subsequently chose to become a neurosurgeon (the logic of that move still escapes me to this day ;-), claimed: "Lisp is the most fun you can have with a computer !". An intervention is probably not out of place here, starting gently with ... PACMAN, should do the trick.

Anyway, LISP is the 2nd oldest programming language, which was early-on adopted by the people that predicted computers would overtake human intelligence in 10 years. Oh yeah, that was in the 50-ties. Anyway, here is a quick getting started:

Getting the tools

Download Lispworks Free Edition from this website: LispWorks


Getting started















Some useful links


Here are some video tutorials and presentations on Lisp:





THis is NOT the LISP we are talking about