Common Lisp Weekly News

ACM Open access to LFP

In the end of March Slashdot reproted that “Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has made the ACM Digital Library open access to help support the computing community during the coronavirus pandemic.”

In a ltetter on the ACM President Cherri Pancake wrote: “We believe that ACM can help support research, discovery and learning during this time of crisis by opening the ACM Digital Library to all.”

And support they do.

After searching for a few things I’ve been surprised to discover a wealth of LISP-related papers in the proceedings of “LFP: Conference on LISP and Functional Programming“.

This conference produced 287 publications in the span of 1980-1994. Out of them all, 276 publications are available for download.

It featured quite a number of prominent contributors, discussed plenty of topics that are still relevant today, and overall provides a very interesting window into the age of glory, when LISP machines were a thing and the future for AI looked promising. Unfortunately, it also captured artifacts of IT archeology: “Tachyon Common Lisp: an efficient and portable implementation of CLtL2” that was claimed to be:

an efficient and portable implementation of Common Lisp 2nd Edition. The design objective of Tachyon is to apply both advanced optimization technology developed for RISC processors and Lisp optimization techniques. The compiler generates very fast codes comparable to, and sometimes faster than the code generated by UNIX C compiler

nowdays is nowhere to be found. But “The Python compiler for CMU Common Lisp
fotunately has survived the test of time and in some form or shape can be found in SBCL.

Some articles have abstracts as if written last year, not 1984:

As the need for high-speed computers increases, the need for multi-processors will be become more apparent. One of the major stumbling blocks to the development of useful multi-processors has been the lack of a good multi-processing language—one which is both powerful and understandable to programmers.

Overall, “LFP: Conference on LISP and Functional Programming” is a very interesting thing to read. Don’t miss this oportunity as access will be open only through June 30, 2020.