Update We’ve moved the date of our first meeting to June 17th, so you’re still in time to join us! If you want to follow our adventures, you can also ask for an invitation to our mailing list.

The other day, Andy and I met Jos, an experienced schemer who lives near Barcelona, with the idea of having lunch, talking about Scheme, and create a Scheme Users Group. After a bit of discussion, we agreed on widen the group’s scope, and start what we’re calling Fringe Languages In Barcelona (FLIB). The plan is to conduct periodic meetings with a main presentation followed by some lightning talks (the latter were a complete success at ILC, and we’d like to try and see how they work for us), with as much discussion interleaved as we see fit. We’ll have some refreshments available and, since we’re meeting in the very center of the old city, visits to pubs or a restaurant for dinner and further socializing are to be expected.

As i said, we’re expecting much discussion about Scheme and Lisp, but we’re not ruling out by any means other fine languages. For instance, the talk for the inaugural session (scheduled June 10th17th, 7:30 pm) is entitled The implementation of FUEL, Factor’s Ultimate Emacs Library, and it will include a short introduction to Factor (yes, i am the victim speaker). Jos will come next, the same day, with a lightning talk about PLT Redex. We have free slots for more lighting talks: you are invited not only to come, but to give one if you’re so inclined. This being our first meeting, there will be also some time for logistics and organisation.

So, if you’re near here by then, by all means, come in and join the fun:

Calle del Pi 3 Principal Interior (first floor)

Not really needed, but if you’re thinking about coming, sending me a mail beforehand will help us to be sure that we’ve got enough food and drinks.

We’re looking forward to getting FLIB started, and we’re sure that at least grix more fringers are coming! Don’t miss it!

The Lisp Dictionary

William Bland announced yesterday The Lisp Dictionary, a Lisp-centric document searching facility where he has indexed the Common Lisp HyperSpec, PCL, Successful Lisp, and SBCL‘s documentation strings, plus example code taken from PAIP and PCL. All mixed together in a simple and elegant interface.

(As an aside, William is the author of a very fun Linux module, Schemix, which embeds a Scheme interpreter right into the kernel, although this days he recommends Movitz, a Common Lisp x86 development platform directly “on the metal”.)

If you’re an Emacs user, here’s an elisp function (courtesy of a c.l.l poster named Nick), to search the Lisp Dictionary without leaving your editor:

(defun lispdoc ()
  "searches lispdoc.com for SYMBOL, which is by default the symbol
currently under the curser"
  (let* ((word-at-point (word-at-point))
	 (symbol-at-point (symbol-at-point))
	 (default (symbol-name symbol-at-point))
	 (inp (read-from-minibuffer
	       (if (or word-at-point symbol-at-point)
		   (concat "Symbol (default " default "): ")
		   "Symbol (no default): "))))
    (if (and (string= inp "")
             (not word-at-point) 
             (not symbol-at-point))
	     (message "you didn't enter a symbol!")
	 (let ((search-type 
			  "full-text (f) or basic (b) search (default b)? ")))
	  (browse-url (concat "http://lispdoc.com?q="
			      (if (string= inp "")
			      (if (string-equal search-type "f")

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Emacs on OS X

Since a few weeks ago, OS X is again my primary development environment. That means that i’ve been preparing up a proper Emacs setup, including quack, slime, slime48, paredit and some C stuff. As customary, i’ve put my configuration (split into small files) under configuration control: you can browse the darcs repository thanks to the excellent darcsweb.

The main file (i.e., the one i link my .emacs to) is emacs.el, and all those other little ones named jao-something include (disposable) configuration. This configuration works in my Tiger 10.4.3 with the Carbon Emacs package.

Happy hacking!

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The Lisp Machine Wars

This is an essay written a while ago (1986 or so) by Richard M Stallman (RMS), about his experiences at the MIT AI Lab, and the story of the Lisp Machine Wars.

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