Lisp (originally named LISP in all-caps) is a computer programming language originally developed by John McCarthy and his associates at MIT in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Lisp is fundamentally based directly on concepts from mathematical logic, and was the first important language that was oriented toward logical operations of symbolic data, as opposed to computational operations on numeric data.
Lisp was the first programming language to introduce the conditional "if-then-else" structure. The designers of ALGOL acknowledged borrowing this idea from LISP, and it has since become nearly universal in modern programming languages.
Lisp was originally implemented on the IBM 704, a vacuum-tube computer with core memory. Two of its fundamental operations—car and cdr— stand for "contents of address register" and "contents of decrement register," a direct reference to its implementation on that machine.
Lisp has many abilities and ITA software uses it to power orbitz.com. Lisp stands for list processor. Lisp starts with a few basic abilities but from them almost any programming concept one can think of can be embodied. It is used at MIT to teach computer programming. Lisp can be learned at home. Paul Graham used it to create what became yahoo store for beginning your storefront onto the web way back in 1995. Lisp is said to be able to steal any ability from any other programming language. The two most commonly used lisps today are scheme and common lisp. Lisp is being used at many labs and universities for advanced research into what computers can be commanded programmed to do and how easily. Pltscheme, scsh, sbcl, mitscheme, and clisp are all free software implementations. Free books on lisp include, On lisp, Successful lisp, A Gentle introduction to symbolic computation, How to design programs, SICP from MIT (considered on of the greatest computer science teaching books of all time), and Practical common lisp. Lisp runs on Linux, so one can have a computer running 100% free software and a good lisp as a home lab.
Notes and references
- It was first described in McCarthy, J (1960), Recursive Functions of Symbolic Expressions and their Computation by Machine, Communications of the ACM, 3:184-195