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Question: Where did Lisp come from?
Answer: John McCarthy developed the basics behind Lisp during the 1956 Dartmouth
Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence. He intended it as an
algebraic LISt Processing (hence the name) language for artificial
intelligence work. Early implementations included the IBM 704, the IBM
7090, the DEC PDP-1, the DEC PDP-6 and the DEC PDP-10. The PDP-6 and
PDP-10 had 18-bit addresses and 36-bit words, allowing a CONS cell to
be stored in one word, with single instructions to extract the CAR and
CDR parts. The early PDP machines had a small address space, which
limited the size of Lisp programs.
Milestones in the development of Lisp:
1956 Dartmouth Summer Research Project on AI.
1960-65 Lisp1.5 is the primary dialect of Lisp.
1964- Development of BBNLisp at BBN.
late 60s Lisp1.5 diverges into two main dialects:
Interlisp (originally BBNLisp) and MacLisp.
early 70s Development of special-purpose computers known as Lisp
Machines, designed specificly to run Lisp programs.
Xerox D-series Lisp Machines run Interlisp-D.
Early MIT Lisp Machines run Lisp Machine Lisp
(an extension of MacLisp).
1969 Anthony Hearn and Martin Griss define Standard Lisp to
port REDUCE, a symbolic algebra system, to a variety
late 70s Macsyma group at MIT developed NIL (New Implementation
of Lisp), a Lisp for the VAX.
Stanford and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
develop S-1 Lisp for the Mark IIA supercomputer.
Franz Lisp (dialect of MacLisp) runs on stock-hardware
Gerald J. Sussman and Guy L. Steele developed Scheme,
a simple dialect of Lisp with lexical scoping and
lexical closures, continuations as first-class objects,
and a simplified syntax (i.e., only one binding per symbol).
Advent of object-oriented programming concepts in Lisp.
Flavors was developed at MIT for the Lisp machine,
and LOOPS (Lisp Object Oriented Programming System) was
developed at Xerox.
early 80s Development of SPICE-Lisp at CMU, a dialect of MacLisp
designed to run on the Scientific Personal Integrated
Computing Environment (SPICE) workstation.
1980 First biannual ACM Lisp and Functional Programming Conf.
1981 PSL (Portable Standard Lisp) runs on a variety of platforms.
1981+ Lisp Machines from Xerox, LMI (Lisp Machines Inc)
and Symbolics available commercially.
April 1981 Grass roots definition of Common Lisp as a description
of the common aspects of the family of languages (Lisp
Machine Lisp, MacLisp, NIL, S-1 Lisp, Spice Lisp, Scheme).
1984 Publication of CLtL1. Common Lisp becomes a de facto
1986 X3J13 forms to produce a draft for an ANSI Common Lisp
1987 Lisp Pointers commences publication.
1990 Steele publishes CLtL2 which offers a snapshot of
work in progress by X3J13. (Unlike CLtL1, CLtL2
was NOT an output of the standards process and was
not intended to become a de facto standard. Read
the Second Edition Preface for further explanation
of this important issue.) Includes CLOS,
conditions, pretty printing and iteration facilities.
1992 X3J13 creates a draft proposed American National
Standard for Common Lisp. This document is the
first official successor to CLtL1.
[Note: This summary is based primarily upon the History section of the
draft ANSI specification.
Question: Where did Lisp come from?
John McCarthy developed the basics behind Lisp during the 1956 Dartmouth
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