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History of Lisp (1979) [pdf] (stanford.edu)
98 points by taylodl 4 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments

"The Evolution of Lisp" by Guy Steele and Richard Gabriel is also a good related paper: https://www.dreamsongs.com/Files/HOPL2-Uncut.pdf

Both are awesome papers, I found this very interesting:

"In 1975 Gerald J. Sussman and Guy L. Steele Jr. began experimenting with some interpreters in an attempt to understand the consequences of the Actor model of computation. This led to the publication during 1976–1978 of a series of papers describing a new dialect of Lisp called Scheme. Scheme was one of the first languages to have taken seriously the implications of lexical scoping and first-class functions. Namely, Scheme correctly treated closures—a closure is a function along with the local environment within which it was defined."

I heart Richard Gabriel once saying that the goal of Scheme was implement Carl Hewitt's Actor model but they discover closures instead, got hyped and forget about the original mission.

Later history repeat itself twice, Robert Virding a true Lisp Hacker implement LFE his own LISP for the BEAM ecosystem and accomplish the original Scheme goal and probably without even know or care much about it, in the similar way that once Mike Williams, Joe Armstrong and him build Erlang the best implementation (in my opinion) that we got from the Actor model without know nothing about it existence at the time of the development of Erlang.

No, I did not know of Scheme's original goal, and we had never heard of the actor model when doing Erlang. And we wouldn't have cared either. :-)

You know a programming language (family) is old when someone wrote a history about it almost 40 years ago.

its a shame that there isnt any more history on the family....

thats how it goes w all tech history tho

take for instance gary "gates" kildall, no one knows, its a shame

Some information about the early years is gone; people were often too busy to write down what they were doing. But there's enough still around that it's even gone recursive http://kameken.clique.jp/Lectures/Lectures2010/NLP2010/relat...

do ....i ....have deja vu?

seems like modern languages make the same mistakes.

i could be wrong....

You aren’t wrong - they did and keep doing it. ;-)

IMHO that’s why Common Lisp is decades ahead of other languages. Lisp made its mistakes in the 60‘s and 70‘s and largely corrected them in Common Lisp in the 80’s.

i mean, that garbage collection was fucking abysmal!

You seem much more knowledgable than me....

We talking turbo pascal levels or what?

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