January 10, 2011

January Lisp happenings

The ALU wiki is running again. Despite requiring registration and having a captcha on every edit, it seems to have a worse spam problem than CLiki. Both seem to be being spammed by hand instead of by bots. Makes me wish the current SEO/content mill bubble would burst sooner.

One thing the ALU wiki does need is more up-to-date content. In particular, if you're a Lisp consultant or freelancer, please add yourself to the ALU wiki Lisp consultants directory.

LinkedIn gave me some ad credit to try out their ad platform, and I'm planning to run ads targeted at technologists and product managers to this landing page that strongly encourages them to try Common Lisp. Any ideas for how I can make it better?

One thing you might notice when perusing Ediware (what Luís Oliveira branded Edi Weitz's excellent Free Lisp Software) is the uniformly useful documentation right on the project webpage. What you may not realize is that Edi has written some software to help you write documentation like he does. DOCUMENTATION-TEMPLATE takes a package and generates HTML to describe the package's exported symbols (you are writing docstrings, right?).

Speaking of Ediware, one of the least appreciated of Edi's libraries is CL-INTERPOL. Besides regular expressions, it's also handy for things like HTML templating.

One of the highest-impact papers I've managed to overlook has come to my attention recently: Henry Baker's Metacircular Semantics for Common Lisp Special Forms. If you're working on Common Lisp compilers/translators/simulators it's a must-read (I wish I had noticed it sooner because a lot of the techniques are applicable to Parenscript). Techniques like that are also useful if you want to fake CL-style control flow mechanisms in other languages.

Perhaps the coolest such hack I've seen is Red Daly's implementation of the Common Lisp condition system for Parenscript. It's worth reading just for the fact that the implementation code explains how the condition system works better than the Hyperspec manages to.

Bonjure, the Montréal Clojure user's group, is having its next meeting January, Friday 21 at 17:30 at CRIM.

FunctionalJobs.com recently launched. They seem to have bootstrapped their first listings from Lispjobs; hopefully they'll have more Lisp-related jobs in the future.


Didier said...

Please forgive this shameless plug, but if you are interested in Edi's documentation-template, you might consider a package of mine called Declt. It does something similar but generates Texinfo which in turn can be compiled to HTML, PDF, DVI and then PostScript.

Find it here. The Declt manual is generated with Declt of course... It still lacks a couple of things (see TODO in the distribution), but it's already quite functional.

Luís said...

There's also texinfo-docstrings which originates from the code SBCL uses to generate its manual, and parse-docstrings which is a promising start at generalizing that approach to output to formats other than texinfo.

BTW, I'm pretty sure I didn't coin the term "ediware". Someone in #lisp did. :-)