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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.


Guy Steele is a Sun Fellow for Sun Microsystems Laboratories, working on the Programming Language Research project. Richard P. Gabriel has been a researcher at Stanford, President and CTO at Lucid, Distinguished Engineer at Sun and is now a Distinguished Engineer at IBM Research.

About the conference

Starting in 1986, OOPSLA Conference has proven to be the cradle of many techniques and methodologies that have become mainstream over the years: OOP, Patterns, AOP, XP, Unit Testing, UML, Wiki, and Refactoring. Gaining its prestige with 3 academic tracks, OOPSLA Conference has managed to attract researchers, educators and developers every year. The event is sponsored by ACM.

Recorded at:

Apr 03, 2009

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Community comments

  • Richard Gabriel

    by Alex Miller,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    If you're interested in seeing Richard Gabriel speak, he'll be doing a keynote (as will Rich Hickey) at the upcoming Clojure/West conference in San Jose March 16-17th, 2012.

  • Disappointing Video

    by Richard Eng,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    I have to say, I did not find the video satisfactory. First of all, why is it such poor resolution? High Definition had been available for many years before OOPSLA 2008. They couldn't afford a better video camera?

    Second, who was the videographer? They didn't seem very skilled. The projection screen wasn't always in view and I'm sure we missed some details. Camera work was very poor.

    Third, an encore of a 1993 presentation seemed lazy. They couldn't have produced something more up-to-date? Nothing significant happened between 1993 and 2008?

    As a celebration of 50 years of Lisp, I found this insipid. Lisp deserves better.

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