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Lisp at TWENEX.ORG Tutorial

Lisp is a programming language famous for its use in Artificial Intelligence and advanced Computer Science research. First developed in 1958, it is the second oldest (after Fortran) high-level programming language still in common use.

Two dialects of Lisp are available at TWENEX.ORG, Maclisp and InterLisp-10.



Maclisp was developed in the mid-1960's as part of MIT's Project MAC1), originally for the PDP-6 ITS operating system.

Maclisp was a highly influential language and was the primary inspiration for Common Lisp, with contributions form other dialects like InterLisp.


Before running MACLISP, you must define the following logical name:


(You can add the above line to your LOGIN.CMD file to automatically define the logical name for all of you TWENEX sessions.)

It is also recommended that you create a Maclisp init file (LISP.INI) in your home directory with the following contents:

;;; A very typical init file / Emacs mode--> -*- Mode:LISP; -*-
(COMMENT) ;magic
(PROGN ; real init file stuff
  (SETQ BASE 10. IBASE 10. *NOPRINT NIL) ;base-10 display
  (SETQ NOUUO T *RSET T) ;these make debugging easier
  (SSTATUS FEATURE NOLDMSG) ;supress module load messages
  '*) ;return an asterisk for Maclisp to print out


LEDIT is a software package that allows a programmer to inspect, modify, and save Lisp source expressions from within a Maclisp session, abilities Maclisp itself lacks. This is achieved by calling the Emacs editor from the programmer's Maclisp session.

To use LEDIT:

  1. Start Maclisp and load your source file.
  2. Evaluate (LOAD “LISP:LEDIT.FASL”) (You may add this line to your LISP.INI file and eliminate this step.)
  3. Evaluate (LEDIT) to switch to Emacs.
  4. View, change, save source with Emacs commands.
  5. Flag function definitions to update in Maclisp with M-Z.
  6. Return to Maclisp with ^X-Z.



InterLisp was developed in 1967 at Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN) for TENEX, BBN's in-house PDP-10 operating system. Development was later transfered to XEROX PARC. The language became popular with Stanford University AI researchers and at other principly US West-Coast institutions.

InterLisp was noted for its integration of interactive development tools into the the programming environment: debugger, Lisp-structure-aware editor, spelling corrector, file manager.

The dialect was in a rivalry with Maclisp prior to the development of Common Lisp.


If you have set-up your TWENEX session for Maclisp (see above), you must undefine the logical name LISP: before running InterLisp.


for Mathematics And Computation. The name is unrelated to the later-developed Apple Macintosh computer
tutorials/lisp.1489124736.txt.gz · Last modified: 2017/03/10 05:45 by papa