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The focus of this guide is on the programming language known as Common Lisp, a dialect of Lisp, which is the second-oldest high-level programming language still in wide use today.

Lisp was designed in 1958, shortly after Fortran. By 1980, there were several dialects of Lisp, and projects working on developing others.

Work on what was to become Common Lisp began in 1981 as an initiative by ARPA to create a single community standard dialect of Lisp, and it was previewed at the 1982 ACM Symposium on LISP. Its first language documentation was published as Common Lisp the Language in 1984. The final ANSI Common Lisp standard was published the ANSI X3J13 committee in 1994, and there have been no updates to the standard since that time, although various extensions and improvements have been developed.

Common Lisp is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm programming language. It includes the Common Lisp Object System (CLOS), which is the facility for object-oriented programming. Common Lisp provides some backward compatibility to Maclisp and to the original Lisp, which allows older Lisp software to be ported to Common Lisp. It is extensible through Lisp macros and reader macros.

Common Lisp is machine-independent. It uses iterative design methodology. It allows for dynamic program updates, and an advanced object-oriented programming., as well as an object-oriented condition system. It includes a convenient macro system, and a wide range of data types, such as objects, structures, lists, vectors, adjustable arrays, hashtables, and symbols. It is expression-based and includes a complete I/O library. It features an excellent debugging system, and extensive control structures.

Several proprietary and open-source dialects and implementations of Common Lisp have been created, and are in active development.

Topics related to Common Lisp are the focus of sites listed in this category. These might include the various dialects and implementations of the language, as well as editors, tutorials, help files, and other sites related to Common Lisp.

Dialects include Allegro Common Lisp (Allegro CL), Armed Bear Common Lisp (ABCL), Austin Kyoto Common Lisp (AKCL), Butterfly Common Lisp (BCL), CLISP, Clozure Common Lisp (CCL), CMU Common Lisp, Corman Lisp, Embeddable Common Lisp (ECL), GNU Common Lisp (GCL), Golden Common Lisp (GCL), Ibuki Common Lisp (ICL), Kyoto Common Lisp (KCL), Liquid Common Lisp, LispWorks, Macintosh Common Lisp (MCL), ManKai Common Lisp (MKCL), mocl, Movitz, Open Genera, Poplog, Scieneer Common Lisp, Steel Bank Common Lisp (SBCL), Ufasoft Common Lisp, and Vax Common Lisp (VCL). This is likely not a complete list, and some of these are no longer in development.

When there are enough listed sites to warrant such, some of these dialects and implementations will be sorted into their own category.



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