Meadowlark: Sheffield based computer consultancy

Software tools we use:


LISt Processing (Lisp) has always been associated with applications of artificial intelligence which had their first (of many) heydays in the nineteen eighties.

It is a general purpose language too, and like, Forth, is able to extend the language during application development.

Like Forth, Lisp adopts a fundamentally interative approach to software development. This allows the developer to test each line of source code at edit time without a lengthy wait for compilation to take place, and encourages both a bottom-up programming style, and an adaptive/explorative approach to code writing. This can be a thoroughly rewarding programing experience (fun in other words) and may result in higher quality software as a consequence.

Meadowlark use Lisp for simple database systems, content management systems, web applications, and prototyping applications

Advantages of Lisp:

Disadvantages of Lisp:

A trivial example of LISP use

This simple example gives some indication of the power of lisp

Suppose you want to add up a list of numbers. At the outset you do not know how many there are in the list. In LISP you would add them up like this:

(+ 1 6 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 4)

-> 53

This was a simple one line solution to a pretty simple problem. In an Algol / C based language you would need to do something far more complex.

You would need an array, you would need to step through the array summing each entry. You would need a variable to store the sum and then to print the sum. This corresponds to far more lines of code, probably five lines, and every line of code is an opportunity to make a mistake.

In C this would look like:
int sum = 0;
int payments[10] = {1, 6, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 4}; 
for(i = 0; i < 10; i++)
 sum += payments[i];
printf("%d\n", sum);

As you can see, this is a much more complex coding problem and as such is far more prone to errors.

Answer me this simple question. Software developers are often paid based upon the number of lines of code they write. If you were paying a software developer to solve the problem above would you want to pay them more for the more long winded solution that uses C ?

The essence of lisp is simplicity, succintness, and expressive power.

Lisp in use today