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Presentation: The Evolution of Lisp

In this presentation recorded at OOPSLA 2008, Guy L. Steele Jr. and Richard P. Gabriel reenact their presentation called “The Evolution of Lisp” which took place during ACM History of Languages Conference in 1993.

Watch: The Evolution of Lisp (43 min.)

Steele and Gabriel present how Lisp developed over the years. They wrote a paper on Lips’ evolution (PDF) which represents the basis for their presentation. They came up with the following chart which made people laugh both in 1993 and in 2008:



     Black arrows – direct relationships between various Lisp implementations

     Magenta arrows – represent a significant influence on Lisp implementations

     Red rectangles - various LISP implementations

     Green ovals – languages specifications for languages that do not belong to the Lisp family, but were included because of their influence on the language

     Blue ovals – languages specifications within the Lisp family

     Cyan rectangles – official standards projects (ANSI, ISO)

The presentation covers the evolution of the main Lisp families, LISP 1.5, MacLisp, IBM Lisp, Interlisp, and continues with machines used to run Lisp, the development of Common Lisp, Scheme Extended Family, the influence of OO, Lambda Calculus and FORTRAN on Lisp, and figures who played a major role in developing the language.

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