Common Lisp

Extensible from the Inside-Out

Part of what makes Lisp distinctive is that it is designed to evolve. As new abstractions become popular (object-oriented programming, for example), it always turns out to be easy to implement them in Lisp. Like DNA, such a language does not go out of style.

Paul Graham, ANSI Common Lisp

An example of SxQL, a macro-based SQL DSL

(select (:title :author :year)
  (from :books)
  (where (:and (:>= :year 1995)
               (:< :year 2010)))
  (order-by (:desc :year)))

⇒ ((:title "Practical Common Lisp"
    :author "Peter Seibel"
    :year 2005)
   (:title "ANSI Common Lisp"
    :author "Paul Graham"
    :year 1995))

Mature & Stable

An extensive standard provides a rock-solid foundation that you can confidently build upon. You won't be reinventing the same old wheels ten years from now.


Functions are first class objects: you can pass them around, store them, call them dynamically. Build your application by composing small, functional building blocks.
(reduce #'-
        (reverse (list 1 2 3)))
⇒ 0

(mapcar #'string-downcase
        (list "Hello" "world!"))
=> ("hello" "world!")


Build reusable and extensible class hierarchies using the Common Lisp Object System. Design patterns disappear as you adapt the language to your problem domain.
(defclass book ()
  ((title :reader book-title
          :initarg :title)
   (author :reader book-author
           :initarg :author))
  (:documentation "Describes a book."))

(make-instance 'book
               :title "ANSI Common Lisp"
               :author "Paul Graham")


Requests per second using Woo, an HTTP server written in pure Common Lisp.

Great Tools

SLIME, an IDE that leverages the power of Common Lisp and the extensibility of Emacs, provides a development environment ahead of anything else.

You can leave the write-compile-debug cycle behind. Everything is interactive: try your code on the REPL as you write it, and a powerful debugger lets you inspect trees of live values, or rewind the stack to undo an exception.

See more success stories
Start here