Poll: Which Lisp implementations do you use?

Discussion of Common Lisp

Which Lisp implmentations do you use the most? (choose up to 2)

Allegro CL
14
6%
CMUCL
2
1%
Clozure CL (OpenMCL)
19
9%
Corman CL
4
2%
Embedded CL (ECL)
12
5%
GNU CL (GCL)
2
1%
GNU CLISP
33
15%
LispWorks
19
9%
Steel Bank CL (SBCL)
110
50%
Other
6
3%
 
Total votes : 221

Re: Poll: Which Lisp implementations do you use?

Postby w-g » Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:46 am

findinglisp wrote: I had to drop Schieneer and Armed Bear (ABCL) from the list, for instance, because the polling module only lets you have up to 10 choices. Hopefully, those have lower usage than the others.


I do use ABCL! It's a good implementation, and having the JVM as target is actually very good.
I also use XCL (the, er, non-official other Lisp from Peter Graves).

Why, for example, use XCL? I actually test my software with all implementations but two. I really want it to be portable, and testing with all implementations help spot small/subtle bugs in my software. (Some implementations may not complain or misbehave, but others will, so it's best to run through all of them).

The two I don't use are Scieneer (only available if you pay) and Corman (I gave up fighting its GUI)

The two I use most are SBCL and Clisp. Both have excellent debugging support, and SBCL is very fast.
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Re: Poll: Which Lisp implementations do you use?

Postby pTymN » Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:14 pm

Am I correct that the main reason that Corman CL is overlooked is due to the instability of it and Win32 only? I've been helping Roger systemmatically identify and flush out some of the remaining GC bugs. The fact that Corman is so trivially embeddable into a Win32 app, has decent performance, and a good FFI in an affordable package is too sweet. I'm writing a video game with it, and the app is definately CPU bound, so clisp doesn't seem to be a good option.
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Re: Poll: Which Lisp implementations do you use?

Postby w-g » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:30 am

Am I correct that the main reason that Corman CL is overlooked is due to the instability of it and Win32 only?


I can only speack for myself; I don't use it because I never really liked its user interface, and I use Linux primarily. I see that SLIME has support for Corman, so I suppose I could install Emacs on my Windows box and give it a try.
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Re: Poll: Which Lisp implementations do you use?

Postby humpolec » Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:59 pm

I'm a newbie writing a roguelike game in Lisp, and while I develop it in Clisp (under windows), eventually I plan on releasing it as stand-alone packages on some systems (Windows and Linux at least) - I'm not sure if I want it open source, and Clisp's license would force me to do that, so I guess I will look into ECL.
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Re: Poll: Which Lisp implementations do you use?

Postby Paul Donnelly » Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:43 pm

humpolec wrote:I'm a newbie writing a roguelike game in Lisp, and while I develop it in Clisp (under windows), eventually I plan on releasing it as stand-alone packages on some systems (Windows and Linux at least) - I'm not sure if I want it open source, and Clisp's license would force me to do that, so I guess I will look into ECL.

I'm pretty sure CLISP's license doesn't force that. From http://clisp.cvs.sourceforge.net/*check ... /COPYRIGHT :
Code: Select all
Note:

  This copyright does NOT cover user programs that run in CLISP and
  third-party packages not part of CLISP, if
    a) They only reference external symbols in CLISP's public packages
       that define API also provided by many other Common Lisp implementations
       (namely the packages COMMON-LISP, COMMON-LISP-USER, KEYWORD, CLOS,
       GRAY, EXT), i.e. if they don't rely on CLISP internals and would as
       well run in any other Common Lisp implementation. Or
    b) They only reference external symbols in CLISP's public packages
       that define API also provided by many other Common Lisp implementations
       (namely the packages COMMON-LISP, COMMON-LISP-USER, KEYWORD, CLOS,
       GRAY, EXT) and some external, not CLISP specific, symbols in
       third-party packages that are released with source code under a
       GPL compatible license and that run in a great number of Common Lisp
       implementations, i.e. if they rely on CLISP internals only to the
       extent needed for gaining some functionality also available in a
       great number of Common Lisp implementations.
  Such user programs are not covered by the term "derived work" used in
  the GNU GPL. Neither is their compiled code, i.e. the result of compiling
  them by use of the function COMPILE-FILE. We refer to such user programs
  as "independent work".

It looks like at some point one of the libraries you use would need to be GPL-compatibly licensed, perhaps your graphics library, or perhaps only an FFI wrapper like CFFI, and that only if said library relies on CLISP-specific features. IANAL.
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Re: Poll: Which Lisp implementations do you use?

Postby humpolec » Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:52 am

From what I understand from the license, distributing a modified binary would require me to distribute either source code or FAS files along with them, and making FAS files available isn't hiding the implementation very well.
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Re: Poll: Which Lisp implementations do you use?

Postby findinglisp » Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:29 am

Paul Donnelly wrote:

I'm pretty sure CLISP's license doesn't force that. From http://clisp.cvs.sourceforge.net/*check ... /COPYRIGHT :
<<snip...>>
It looks like at some point one of the libraries you use would need to be GPL-compatibly licensed, perhaps your graphics library, or perhaps only an FFI wrapper like CFFI, and that only if said library relies on CLISP-specific features. IANAL.[/quote]

CLISP's license is a strange beast. See the comments in this blog post:
http://www.findinglisp.com/blog/2005/12 ... hosis.html

The short of it is while you can write a program with CLISP that isn't covered by the GPL, to do so, you pretty much have to stick to the standard Lisp API and avoid anything CLISP-specific. This means that for any practical program, CLISP is not a viable alternative if you want to avoid the GPL.

IMO, this is a big issue with CLISP. One of the biggest things that has helped propel GCC as the "standard" C compiler is that it doesn't force programs written with it to be GPL-compatible. IMO, languages and runtimes need to separate their own licenses from that of the code that is produced with them.

That said, CLISP is one of the two implementations that I use. It's greatest strengths are its supreme portability and rich set of extensions. It's a shame that those are marred with a viral GPL.

Also, please note that I'm not anti-GPL. I currently work for an open source company (http://www.vyatta.com) that releases its code under GPL. I simply believe that programmers should have choices and separating the language implementation license from the license of programs released with that language implementation leads to better outcomes for both sides.
Cheers, Dave
Slowly but surely the world is finding Lisp. http://www.findinglisp.com/blog/
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Re: Poll: Which Lisp implementations do you use?

Postby Paul Donnelly » Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:00 pm

findinglisp wrote:
Paul Donnelly wrote:I'm pretty sure CLISP's license doesn't force that. From http://clisp.cvs.sourceforge.net/*check ... /COPYRIGHT :
<<snip...>>
It looks like at some point one of the libraries you use would need to be GPL-compatibly licensed, perhaps your graphics library, or perhaps only an FFI wrapper like CFFI, and that only if said library relies on CLISP-specific features. IANAL.


CLISP's license is a strange beast. See the comments in this blog post:
http://www.findinglisp.com/blog/2005/12 ... hosis.html

The short of it is while you can write a program with CLISP that isn't covered by the GPL, to do so, you pretty much have to stick to the standard Lisp API and avoid anything CLISP-specific. This means that for any practical program, CLISP is not a viable alternative if you want to avoid the GPL.

My reading yields "stick to the standard and cross-platform libraries", which doesn't sound so bad. But I agree, it's confusing, and I'm not sure I'd want to risk getting legally tangled in it.
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Re: Poll: Which Lisp implementations do you use?

Postby sburson » Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:22 pm

It varies, but lately I have mostly been using Allegro and Scieneer, with some CMUCL.

I share your concerns about the CLISP license situation. The thing that would particularly worry me is that the reason CLISP is under the GPL is because it uses GNU readline. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CLISP, and follow reference 1.) Because of this, it's not clear to me that Haible even has the right to modify the terms of the GPL.
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Re: Poll: Which Lisp implementations do you use?

Postby Wodin » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:08 am

sburson wrote:I share your concerns about the CLISP license situation. The thing that would particularly worry me is that the reason CLISP is under the GPL is because it uses GNU readline. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CLISP, and follow reference 1.) Because of this, it's not clear to me that Haible even has the right to modify the terms of the GPL.


Well if that's the case, can't they just rip out libreadline (or replace it with libedit or something) and then do what they like with the license? That is, of course, if they want to change the license.
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