Common Libraries for Common Lisp

A frequent complaint about Common Lisp is that it doesn\’t have the sort of standard library that is so popular these days. Java, Python, Ruby … everything has a standard library now. When Common Lisp was standardized, its functions comprised an enviable library. But, times change, everyone else catches up, and you gotta keep on your toes to stay in the game. So what does CL need to do to get back in it? Not too much. There are a lot of libraries out there already: cl-containers, CL-XML, etc. But, whereas Java just comes with a pile of a few thousand useful classes, CL doesn\’t. The available libraries need to be collected, sorted through to see where there are still gaps as compared with other languages\’ libraries, and made 1-step retrievable (if not included in the distribution).

I started writing this a while ago, and in the meantime, Dave Robert\’s posted an article that made a very similar point, in which he decided to dive in and fill one of those gaps (a full-fledged networking library). I have spent (very little) time wrapping a few implementations\’ threading libs in the BORDEAUX-MP API.

Now I\’m stepping into the other half of the game — collecting and categorizing all the existing CL libraries, and trying to pull some of those into a competitive standard library. I\’ll post a link to my standard library comparison shortly.

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