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Added a sidebar on ELisp and Lisp with links to other books

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1 parent ec5a5a1 commit 2f998c5e0a62deb038e7f91a08b31147f20cdaa0 @hypernumbers committed Mar 6, 2011
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  1. +40 −0 contents/elisp-is-a-lisp.rst
  2. +2 −0 index.rst
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40 contents/elisp-is-a-lisp.rst
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+===============
+Elisp is a Lisp
+===============
+
+There are many Lisps and ELisp is one of them. As you will see Lisp is a rich and complex language made from many small and fundamental components.
+
+Lisp has a long history going back to 1958 and over the years has spawned many dialects, including:
+
+* many variants of Common Lisp
+* Scheme
+* Clojure
+* Paul Graham's Arc
+
+One of the characteristics of Lisp is that Lisp programmes are also Lisp data. Many advanced Lisp techniques involve using meta-programming - the use of a Lisp to generate and execute Lisp programmes.
+
+One consequence of this is the various Lisp implementations have themselves diverged with different collections of libraries that can radically alter the 'flavour' of a particular dialect.
+
+This variance can make it hard to learn a Lisp from scratch. It if very difficult for a beginner to untangle the various dialects from each other.
+
+This book very much focused on Elisp and largely eschews any discussion of other dialects to avoid complicating things for people learning, what is in many cases, a radically different way for programming.
+
+There are a small number of places where other Lisp implementations will be discussed, but they are all paranthetic to the main book - and none of them will be in the *lessons* themselves.
+
+Other Lisp Resources
+--------------------
+
+There are a number of freely available Lisp books, including:
+
+* `On Lisp`_
+* `Practical Common Lisp`_
+
+There are also purchasable books, including:
+
+* `The Little Schemer`_
+
+Although the focus of this book is on building Emacs tools, another intention is to teach enough Lisp that a beginner can cheerfully use the extensive Emacs Lisp reference documentation, and feel confident to try out other dialects of Lisp.
+
+.. _On Lisp: http://www.paulgraham.com/onlisptext.html
+.. _Practical Common Lisp: http://gigamonkeys.com/book/
+.. _The Little Schemer: http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=4825
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2 index.rst
@@ -39,6 +39,7 @@ Learn Elisp For Emacs
contents/lesson-2-3-lists-at-last
contents/lesson-2-4-symbols-and-variables
contents/lesson-2-5-arrays-and-sequences
+ contents/elisp-is-a-lisp
3 - eLisp Scripts
=================
@@ -71,3 +72,4 @@ Learn Elisp For Emacs
contents/lesson-5-1-elisp-in-files
contents/lesson-5-2-working-with-buffers-1
contents/lesson-5-3-scope-of-variables-set-setq-let-etc
+

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