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on November 10, 2014
Good basic Lisp.
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on October 8, 2014
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on April 7, 2014
Modern scripting languages ( notably Python) are very list oriented.
LISP is the origin ( and basis of AI ) of all that. I an an "emacs" editor user
and this was my motivation for getting this.
The book is a bit beat-up but usable.
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on April 23, 2009
I am a beginning Lisp programmer. So far, I have read several books and websites on Lisp, but this is the best. It covers all the fields necessary for effective Lisp programming. The explanation is crystal clear. For example, I have had problem in differentiating among "equal", "eql", "eq", and "=", but one paragraph in this book resolved this problem for me once for all. It contains a lot of exercise problems with appropriate levels of difficulty, which is optimum for self-teaching. I strongly recommend this book for all programmers learning Lisp.
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on May 3, 2008
I bought this book interested in AI applications; I already knew LISP when I read it, and find it one of the best books for introduction to LISP. The text and samples themselves teach you how learning is done.
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on March 20, 2008
I have been through Gentle Introduction by Touretsky, ANSI Common by Graham, and Practical Common LISP ....all pissed me off. This book is what I have been waiting for, a BEGINNER BOOK, I am on chapter 3 and many of the concepts I have learned before are sinking in with this book. Lisp is fun and easy. I am using linux and vi editor with set: ai lisp option once I open vi. I load my definitions by launching clisp -i myfile.txt. There is a typo on p39 where the second both-ends definition should have LAST not REST. This made me blink until I realized it is a typo. Just above both-ends is defined correctly. It is obvious AFTER you see it let me tell you... lol The only other thing that is bad is that the right page text has a nice 2 inch space away from the book binding so it is easy to read. The left page reversed this and put the 2 inches of space on the outside away from the binding, so the text is right up against the book binding. If this is reprinted they should fix that.....hard to read many practice problems on left page since the text on the left page curves so hard toward the book binding since this is a huge tome.
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on July 12, 2007
This is a very nice introduction to Common Lisp. It is not advanced at all, and I feel like several things are missing from the book. For example, the chapter that introduces macros does not teach you how to deal with variable capture and other macro-related issues; The condition system is not explained at all; and all chapters from the first part of the book seem to be a bit superficial.

Anyway, it's a fairly nice book, particularly for people who are totally new to Lisp.

The second part of the book is something like an introduction to AI in Lisp (but "AI as it was in the 80's" -- not that it's bad, but lots of things happened in AI since then).
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VINE VOICEon December 19, 2006
Whether your interest is learning a LISP dialect (new or old) or just a general interest in artificial intelligence, you can start with this book. The exercises are concise, clear, and useful in real-world applications. After all these years, there is still not a better primer. A must have for anyone interested in LISP programming.
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on April 14, 2006
Keeping with the Pragmatic Programmers goal of learning a new programming language a year I have decided to learn Lisp this year. Over the last few months I have purchased many books on the topic. While this book was not the first book on Lisp I purchased, if I had to pick one book for the purposes of just learning the language this would be it. However, once beyond just initial stages, especially if you are already a programer like myself, then this book becomes less important. Which is fine because I don't think the purpose of the book was written for more advanced developers.
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on January 9, 2004
Review for 2cd edition: I would recommend this book only to people who haven't seen Lisp at all and are fairly new to programming in general. To be brief:
- not a language reference
- of little use to people who already have some Lisp experience
- not a model for learning finer points of lisp programming style
- not a 'how does lisp really work'- building interpreters and compilers book.
The book is regarded as a classic of sorts, but I didnt feel there was anything particularly outstanding about it, though it is well written. The first half covers basic programming and the rest is a series of applications/examples, mostly AI-ish stuff. Some of these later chapters are interesting, some lame, and a few feel a little outdated. I felt the discussion of lexical/dynamic scoping was very poor (perhaps the 3rd edition has improved this), and in general the book tries to ignore or brush off the more complicated (but very important) issues in lisp. The chapter on object-oriented programming was written before OOP became popular and more standardized. The final chapter on lisp interpreters (in lisp) was much too short. But it looks like a fine place to start learning Lisp, though you will quickly need additional books (and you may want to consider Scheme instead of Common Lisp).
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