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The problem is that the main dialects of Lisp (CL and Scheme) date from the era when languages were specs. Now they're implementations. It just happens that no one has released a good new Lisp dialect in that sense of language. But no one (as far as I know) has released a good new Fortran in that sense either.

Language designers who have what it takes are quite rare: Matz, Guido van Rossum, Larry Wall. It just happens none of them chose to create a Lisp dialect. But the problem is not the brilliant failures who are drawn to Lisp, but that e.g. Matz wasn't (quite).

Are you saying that if someone releases a good new Lisp dialect, then it will become popular?

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