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<p>Lispbox is a version of Lisp in a Box, which was originally created
by Matthew Danish and Mikel Evins, customized for use
with <i><a href="">Practical Common
<p>The purpose of Lispbox (and Lisp in a Box) is to get you up and
running in a good Lisp environment as quickly as possible. When you
start Lispbox it launches the text editor Emacs with SLIME (the
Superior Lisp Interaction Mode for Emacs) already installed and starts
Common Lisp for you. Lisp in a Box is designed to not interfere with
your existing Emacs installation, if you have one. If you are already
an Emacs user, you may wish to install the no-Emacs version designed
to work with an existing Emacs installation.</p>
<p>For more about what Lispbox is, read on; otherwise hop down to
the <b><a href="#download">download</a></b> section and start
<h2>What Lispbox gives you</h2>
<p>A full Lispbox distribtion contains:</p>
<li>Emacs, the powerful, customizable text editor</li>
<li>A Common Lisp implementation of your choosing</li>
<li>SLIME, the Superior Lisp Integration Mode for Emacs</li>
<li>ASDF, Another System Definition Facility, used to load Common
Lisp libraries.</li>
<li>The practical code
from <i><a href="">Practical Common
Lisp</a></i> ready to be loaded using ASDF.</li>
<li>Some glue code to make it all a bit easier to use.</li>
<p>When you run the Lispbox application it will start Emacs and start
Common Lisp in SLIME and you're ready to start hacking. You can use
ASDF to load the various libraries and applications from <i>Practical
Common Lisp</i>.</p>
<p>For instance, to load the test-framework from Chapter 9 you can
(oos 'load-op :test-framework)
<p>at the REPL prompt. Or you can use the SLIME
shortcut <code>load-system</code> available by typing a comma followed
by <code>load-system</code> and then, when prompted, the
name <code>test-framework</code>. (Coming soon: the abilility to load
the code from a specific chapter via a system named chapter-X.)</p>
<p>As of version 0.3 there are also ASD files named chapter-<i>X</i>
for each chapter. So you can, for instance, load the test framework
codeby typing:</p>
(oos 'load-op :chapter-9)
<h2>Lispbox special features</h2>
<p>The environment provided by Lispbox has a few special features
beyond what you'd get from combining Emacs, SLIME, ASDF, and a Common
Lisp implementation. These features are designed to make it easier to
use, particularly for new Lispers.</p>
<li>The package <code><b>CL-USER</b></code> is "cleaned" of any
implementation-dependent packages. This makes it easier to follow
along the code in the book (particularly in the early chapters before
I've introduced packages) without running into name conflicts with
names exported from implementaton-defined packages that might
otherwise be inherited by <code><b>CL-USER</b></code>. This does have
the consequence that certain implementation-specific extensions are
not automatically available. But they can easily be added back once
you know about Common Lisp's package system.</li>
<li>Lispbox includes some extensions to ASDF that modify how it finds
ASD files and where it stores the files generated
by <code><b>COMPILE-FILE</b></code>. The former makes it slightly
easier to install new Common Lisp libraries and, more important,
provides a mechanism that works the same on OS X, GNU/Linux, and
Windows. The latter makes it easier to experiment with different Lisp
implementations since it causes the files generated
by <code><b>COMPILE-FILE</b></code> to be placed in an
implementation/operating system/architecture dependent directory.</li>
<a name="download"><h2>Download Lispbox</h2></a>
<p><a href="lispbox.html">Lispbox</a> is designed to given you
everything you need to get up and running, hacking Common Lisp, in one
easy-to-install download. However you do need to pick the right
version of Lispbox for the OS you are using and the Common Lisp
implementation you want to try.</p>
<p>All of the Lisp implementations available here are high-quality
implementations that can be used for learning Lisp and for writing
real applications. However if you want to be able to run all the
practical examples
from <a href=""><i>Practical Common
Lisp</i></a> the easiest path is to use Allegro since it supports both
Unicode and threads and has AllegroServe built in. CLISP has excellent
Unicode support but no threads. SBCL added Unicode in version 0.8.17
but there are still, as of this writing, a few wrinkles to work out.
And it supports threads only on GNU/Linux 2.6 systems running on x86.
OpenMCL supports native threads but not Unicode. The ID3 parser
in <a href="">Chapter
25</a> works best in Lisps that support Unicode but will work fine in
non-Unicode Lisps as long as none of the MP3 files you want to parse
contain Unicode strings. And the Shoutcast server developed in
<a href="">Chapters
28</a> and
<a href="">29</a>
requires an implementation that supports multiple threads.</p>
<div class="chunk">
<table class="floater">
<tr class="table-header">
<td class="centered">OS X (10.4/PPC)</td>
<td class="centered">OS X (10.4/Intel)</td>
<td class="centered">GNU/Linux x86</td>
<td class="centered">GNU/Linux x86-64</td>
<td class="centered">Windows</td>
<td class="impl">Allegro</td>
<td class="centered"><a href="">8.1</a></td>
<td class="centered"><a href="">8.1</a></td>
<td class="centered"><a href="">8.1</a></td>
<td class="centered"><a href="">8.1</a></td>
<td class="centered"><a href="">8.1</a></td>
<td class="impl">SBCL</td>
<td class="centered"><a href=""> 0.9.7</a></td>
<td class="centered">&mdash;</td>
<td class="centered"><a href="">0.9.7</a></td>
<td class="centered">&mdash;</td>
<td class="centered">&mdash;</td>
<td class="impl">Clozure CL</td>
<td class="centered"><a href="">1.0</a></td>
<td class="centered"><a href="">1.0</a></td>
<td class="centered">&mdash;</td>
<td class="centered">&mdash;</td>
<td class="centered">&mdash;</td>
<td class="impl">CLISP</td>
<td class="centered"><a href="">2.35</a></td>
<td class="centered">&mdash;</td>
<td class="centered"><a href="">2.36</a></td>
<td class="centered">&mdash;</td>
<td class="centered"><a href="">2.37</a></td>
<p class="download-blurb">To choose a Lisbox, pick the operating
system you are running and the Common Lisp implementation you want to
try. The numbers in the table's cells are the version of the Lisp
implementation. If you choose Allegro on a OS other than Windows you
will need to get a free licence from Franz. You can do this by running
the <code>newlicense</code> program in the <code>acl81_express</code>
subdirectory of the Lispbox installation. On Windows the installer
will obtain and install the license for you.</p>
<p>Since Lispbox is designed primarily for folks who haven't used
Emacs before (or who just want to try out Lisp without mucking with
their existing Emacs setup) it is designed to work completely
standalone. This should increase the liklihood that it'll Just Work.
However this does mean that it doesn't load your <code>~/.emacs</code>
file if you have one. Of course if you know enough to have
a <code>~/.emacs</code> you can probably figure out how to change
that. <i>Note: I used to provide Lispbox distributions intended to be
loaded into an existing Emacs installation. I'm dropping support for
those for the time being as very few people seemed to use them and
they mostly just confused people.</i></p>
<div class='copyright'>Copyright &copy; 2005, Peter Seibel</div>
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