Lisp is one of the first computer languages; its principles have been discovered by John McCarthy in late 1950s.
Many of Lisp's concepts became popular with time and are now commonly found in mainstream languages
(e.g. dynamic typing, garbage collection). But many of Lisp's advanced concepts are still rare elsewhere
(e.g. closures, macros, code-is-data).
It is these concepts that keep Lisp at a state-of-the-art level even after forty years. They have been providing
programmers with a very high level of expressiveness and abstraction, with freedom and power to adapt the language
to their needs, without forcing any particular programming paradigm at vogue (imperative, functional, object-oriented,
etc). As Paul Graham puts it: "Lisp is designed to evolve... like DNA, such a language does not go out of style".Lisp has thusly evolved into Common Lisp, the major Lisp dialect of today. Common Lisp
was the first ANSI-standardized object-oriented language. Its dynamic nature and powerful object model provide
capabilities rarely found elsewhere
(e.g. multi-method OO dispatch, dynamic runtime redefinitions, etc). Common Lisp is used in a variety of domains
numerical calculations to Web programming.The Lisp programming style is especially well suited for
an "organic-growth" or "exploratory" software development model that we believe has a natural place
in research institutions such as CERN.
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