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Chicken Scheme looks mighty fine comments original article

What can I say? The Greatest Language Ever and the Greatest Language Possible are both doomed propositions. The former ignores the infinite variation of use cases, platforms, coding styles, and the sociology of individuals and groups. The latter does all of that and goes still further by arbitrarily choosing language features for which the "best" is likely to be a highly debatable matter. Like all good philosophical questions, these one's don't have concrete answers. We pose them not to arrive somewhere, but to stimulate thought and further innovation.

But Lisp is still the Greatest Language Ever.

I only learned Lisp a couple of years ago. I'm not sure how I got there, really. I think I might have stumbled on one of Paul Graham's essays (perhaps from a Slashdot interview Kent Pitman gave some time ago). I was thoroughly intrigued by what Graham had to say, and decided to give it a shot. That, of course, led me into the Scheme vs. Common Lisp debate, as well as to the question of which implementation to use.

I think it took me about an hour to decide against Scheme. Nearly everything I read about it suggested that it was a highly minimalistic version of Lisp intended for introductory computer science courses and ponderous experiments in the study of languages and algorithms. In other words, it wasn't meant for serious application development at all. In fact, the very first Q from the Scheme FAQ sealed it:

Scheme is often used in computer science curricula and programming language research, due to its ability to represent many programming abstractions with its simple primitives. Common Lisp is often used for real world programming because of its large library of utility functions, a standard object-oriented programming facility (CLOS), and a sophisticated condition handling system.

So (I concluded), if you want to build real apps you want Common Lisp. I ended up going with SBCL (which is a fantastic…
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