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InfoQ Homepage News Article: Exploring LISP on the JVM

Article: Exploring LISP on the JVM

This article, written by Per Jacobsson, is aimed at Java developers curious about Lisp. It discusses the different dialects of Lisp that are available on the JVM today, and gives a crash course in how Lisp programming works and what makes it unique. Finally it looks at how Lisp code can be integrated with a Java system.

From the article:

One of the most exciting things in the Java world right now is the work being done to get other programming languages to run on the virtual machine. There is a lot of buzz around JRuby, Groovy, Scala, and the JavaScript engine Rhino. But why stop there? If you really want to take a step outside the mainstream and dive into something completely different from Java, Lisp is a great option. And there are several open-source implementations of the Lisp programming language for the JVM out there, ready to be explored.

So what makes Lisp worth looking at? For one thing, this fifty-year-old language has been the catalyst of many ideas we take for granted today. The if-then-else construct originally came out of Lisp, as did early attempts at object-orientation and automatic memory management with garbage collection. Lexical closures -- a hot topic for Java programmers right now -- were first explored in Lisp back in the seventies. And beyond that, Lisp still has many other unique features that other languages have yet to adopt, the kind of good ideas that are bound to make a comeback in the future.

Read the full article here.

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