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Re: Lisp

From: Arthur Miller
Subject: Re: Lisp
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2020 15:22:34 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

<tomas@tuxteam.de> writes:

> On Wed, Jul 08, 2020 at 07:58:02PM -0500, sergio hernandez wrote:
>> Hi people, I have a concern of the use of a language derived of scheme how
>> Lisp or Guile.
> It's the other way around. LISP (written in all caps, it*s *that*
> old) is the grandmother. Born around 1958 [1], it is one of the
> oldest programming languages around. Nevertheless, it's still
> young, having adapted to almost every change of its environments
> (and those has changed a lot, believe me).
> If you want to get a first impression on LISP, have a look at [2],
> which is a paper book, but perhaps some library around you carries
> it. The web site is funny, though :)

Just as a curiosa, I am currently reading a book about early Lisp
history, by K. Majorinc, title roughly translated into English "As
Powerful as Possible". Page 38, has some quite detailed history bits.
Below is an excerpt together with some bibliography:

"McCarthy and Minsky, then working at american MIT, started in September 1958.
work on project ARTIFICAL INTELLIGENCE (47). The work was relatively well
documented with numerous articles and presented at conferences and in interne
documents, Artifical Intelligence Memo (AIM), Research Laboratory of Electronic,
Quaterly progress report (RLE QPR) and by student works. "The Uncle" (48, 49),
McCarthy was, following the examples of projects LOGIC THEORY MACHINE - *IPL** 
GEOMETRY THEOREM MACHINE - *FLPL*, intended to develop an "expert system", 
TAKER (50), and a programming language for "manipulation with symbolic
expressions" in which the system would be written (51). After the presentation
to the public, despite McCarthy not abandoning the ADVICE TAKER, the work died
out and is barely mention in numerous intern and published documents (53, 54).
The programming language, was on contrary, intensely developed.

In the beginning described just as "an algebraic language for the manipulation
of symbolic expressions" (55) and "symbol manipulating language" (56), the
language soon got name "LISP (List Processer)" (57), and somewhat later, "LISP
(List Procesiing) ..."

47 Stoyan, Early LISP history (1956-59), 1984., p. 304.
48 Levy, Hackers, 2010., p. 36.
49 “The teacher was a distant man with a wild shock of hair and an
   equally unruly beard — John McCarthy. A master mathemati­
   cian, McCarthy was a classically absent-minded professor; stories
   abounded about his habit of suddenly answering a question hours,
   sometimes even days after it was first posed to him.” 
   Levy, Hackers, 2010., p. 11.
50 McCarthy, Programs with common sense, 1959., p. 75-92.
51 McCarthy & Minsky, Artificial Intelligence in RLE QPR 052, 1959., p. 129.
52 McCarthy, Situations, actions and causal laws, 1963., p. 1.
53 “The main problem in realizing the Advice Taker has been devising
   suitable formal languages covering the subject matter about which
   we want the program to think.”
   McCarthy, A basis for mathematical theory of computation, 1963., p. 69.
54 Stoyan je nezavisno rekonpuirao Advice Taker in Programmiermethoden der
   Künstlichen Intelligenz, 1988., p. 193-231.
55 McCarthy, An algebraic language ..., AIM-001, 1958., p. 1.
56 McCarthy, A revised definition of maplist, AIM-002, 1958., p. 1.
57 McCarthy, Revisions of the language, AIM-004, 1959., p. 9.

Some links to mentioned papers. Can't find aim-002:

[2] http://www.softwarepreservation.org/projects/LISP/MIT/AIM-001.pdf
[3] http://www.softwarepreservation.org/projects/LISP/MIT/AIM-004.pdf



And some more Lisp history:


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