“LISP” – The God’s Computer Language

Lisp family language, invented since 1958, is the second oldest computer language (after Fortran), by MIT Professor John McCarthy (who also pioneered in Artificial Intelligence).

Some of the Lisp dialects are Common Lisp anf Clojure (run on top of Java VM). They are called Functional Programming Language, versus Imperative language (C language…) or Object-Oriented languages (C++ / Java).

Math Online Tom Circle

Lisp is a Functional programming language, a 1950s product created for symbolic computing in Mathematics, used popularly in 1980s for Artificial Intelligence.

Famous software “Mathematica” is written in Lisp.

The original Lisp language, as defined by John McCarthy as “Recursive Functions of Symbolic Expression and Their Computation by Machine.”, defined the entire language in terms of only 7 functions (atom, car, cdr, cond, cons, eq, quote) and 2 special forms (lambda, label). Through the composition of ONLY these 9 forms, McCarthy was able to describe the WHOLE of computation — it doesn’t get more beautiful than that.

Unfortunately, because of the memory hungry requirement — hence the unique Garbage Collection slow backend processes — Lisp lost its attractiveness in the PC-dominant era of 1990s and 2000s, replaced by the most polular language Java which was invented by James Gosling, a former ‘Lisper’ who had created the popular FranzLisp.

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Author: tomcircle

Math amateur

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