[slime-devel] Re: Mailing List Question

Helmut Eller heller at common-lisp.net
Sat Jan 19 13:12:30 UTC 2008

* Zach Calvert [2008-01-19 00:17+0100] writes:

> I've set up my XEmacs, Gnu Lisp, and Slime as documented here:
> http://db.glug-bom.org/wiki/index.php/Using_XEmacs_as_a_lisp_shell

GNU Common Lisp (GCL) isn't supported by Slime.  Slime needs a Lisp
implementation with certain features (TCP sockets, debugger interface,
threads, etc) which are not standardized.  For the supported
implementations Slime has the necessary glue code to access those
features.  GCL may implement those features in some way, but nobody
wrote the glue for Slime yet.  [I once tried, but I gave up because at
time GCL didn't even have server sockets and I doubt that it has a
good debugger.  Also, GCL seems to be used primarily for the
applications Axiom and Maxima which have special Emacs interfaces
(unrelated to Slime).]

Slime works best with CMUCL, SBCL, OpenMCL, Allegro CL, and Lispworks.
GNU CLISP (not to be confused with GCL), Corman Lisp, and ECL are
supported to some degree but the fancy bits (like M-. and good
debugging) are missing.

Of the free (as in gratis) Lisp implementations, only CLISP is
available on Windows.  [On Windows, Slime might have problems at
startup because Windows filenames use backslashes (\) and not slashes.
This can be worked around, but it's probably not your problem.]

The trial editions of Allegro and Lispworks need some special setup
for Slime.  I think most of what Bill Clementson wrote here
http://bc.tech.coop/blog/040306.html is still valid.  For Allegro 
have a look at http://www.franz.com/emacs/slime.lhtml.

If you are learning Lisp just for fun then you could also start with
Emacs Lisp instead of Common Lisp.  Granted, Emacs Lisp as a language
has some flaws but if you have a running Emacs you already have the
complete Emacs Lisp environment and Emacs' and Emacs Lisp'
documentation is just fantastically good.  If you know how programming
in Emacs Lisp feels like it's also easier to understand Slime.


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