[Openmcl-devel] Getting started with Lisp

Joe Chan firstian at rcn.com
Fri Sep 22 19:13:46 PDT 2006

I just started learning Lisp using OpenMCL, and I'm looking for  
pointers to documentation/tutorial about some non-coding related  
development issues in Lisp. By that I mean the following:

1. How the various options in the OpenMCL break works. I usually just  
type code directly into the ? prompt, and when something goes wrong,  
it goes into the > prompt, and I have no idea how to interpret all  
those #<RESTART ABORT-BREAK #x294626>, etc. lines. I looked at the  
OpenMCL doc, and it seems to cater to seasoned Lisp users and  
describes the various APIs.

2. Once I get into the break, it seems I can easily pick restart  
options to get completely stuck (e.g., picking "Reset this process"  
invariably cause me to lose the ? prompt forever, and I have to kill  
the process).

3. How to load source files into OpenMCL. I tried loading the  
examples using (require "blah") and some of them worked. But when I  
load my own file, I get error like:

 > Error in process listener(1): Module test was not provided by any  
 > While executing: REQUIRE

It seems like it's not finding the file, even if I specify the full  

3. May be once I figure out how to do (2), this will be obvious, but  
what about building applications with multiple source files? I don't  
suppose I use make some how? How do I build an executable that can  
just be run?

I come from C/C++ background, tinkered with Python, Ruby, etc., so I  
don't find the language itself to be so hard to learn at this point,  
but not knowing how to use the tools properly is really getting in my  
way of learning Lisp. I suppose being a Vim user doesn't help either :).

Any pointers are welcome.

Joe Chan
firstian at rcn.com

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