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    Definitely recommend SBCL unless you can afford a Lispworks license. CLISP is super slow. Lispworks is great but the free version is limited. SBCL is very fast and full featured.

    Also good work on this guide, looks really good!

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      I use SBCL and would recommend one using it after they have setup Emacs + Sly (or SLIME). But when trying out Lisp, it is likely that the person will try running things on a bare REPL from the terminal. In that scenario CLISP is a much better choice. It has the best out of the box REPL by far. History, auto-completion, colors, etc.

      CLISP is super slow

      We should learn from the Python and Ruby community on how to sell it. It ain’t slow, ‘fast enough’ 😉.

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        That may be true, good point.

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        For the record, this guide is not authored by me. Kudo to Prof. Sean Luke!

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          Interesting, could you tell is what are the advantages of lispworks over sbcl?

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            Lispworks comes with a great development environment, libraries and tools, and from what I hear the performance is excellent.

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          The title doesn’t make it clear, but this is only about Common Lisp rather than the Lisp family of languages.

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            I’ve recently seen a fair argument on a textboard that when you say “Lisp”, it makes the most sense to infer “Common Lisp”. And I kind of get it, if your language retains a direct linage to implementations from the 60’s, it does seem legitimate to call that “a Lisp”, as compared to Scheme or other syntactic-lookalikes, no?

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              It’s a long standing convention that unqualified “Lisp” means Common Lisp. Other than Scheme, Emacs Lisp, Clojure, and AutoLisp, it’s the only general purpose Lisp anybody still uses, and if somebody means one of the others they’re sure to use the more specific name.

              #Lisp on Freenode is dedicated to Common Lisp, for example.

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                Small correction, but it’s #lisp that’s dedicated to Common Lisp. ##lisp is for the family of languages.

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                  Oops, thank you! Corrected!

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                  It’s a long standing convention that unqualified “Lisp” means Common Lisp.

                  It’s a long-standing convention among Common Lispers only.

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