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By Guy L. Steele Jr., Richard P. Gabriel

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For example, consider an implementation (using the Scheme call-with-current-continuation primitive) of a slight generalization of the n + 12 loop attributed to Dahl [Knuth, 1974]; it executes statements repeatedly until its while clause (if any) fails or until exit is used. (extend-syntax (loop while repeat) (exit) ((loop e1 e2 ... repeat) (call/cc (lambda (exit) ((label foo (lambda () e1 e2 ... (foo))))))) ((loop e1 ... while p e2 ... repeat) (call/cc (lambda (exit) ((label foo (lambda () e1 ...

The Interlisp manual duly notes that interpreted macros will work only if DWIM is enabled. Contrast this with the MIT approach of building macros directly into the interpreter (as well as the compiler) as a primitive language feature. A BBN-Lisp open macro simply caused the macro name to be replaced by a lambda expression, causing the function to be compiled “open” or in-line. Here is an open macro definition for ABS: (LAMBDA (X) (COND ((GREATERP X 0) X) (T (MINUS X)))) Of course this has exactly the same form as a function definition.

3 Big Companies With Their Own Lisps DEC and HP implemented their own Lisps. DEC started with the Spice Lisp code and HP with PSL. Each company believed that AI would take off and that having a Lisp was an essential ingredient for success in the AI business. Both DEC and HP made arrangements with the original implementors of those Lisps, both by hiring students who had worked on them and by arranging for on-going consulting. Both DEC and HP grew fairly large businesses out of these Lisp groups, large by the standards of other Lisp companies.

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