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Lisp: 50 周年  

2008-07-09 14:13:03|  分类: Lisp |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Lisp's 50th Birthday Celebration
Richard P. Gabriel

In October 1958, John McCarthy published one in a series of reports about his then ongoing effort for designing a new programming language that would be especially suited for achieving artificial intelligence. That report was the first one to use the name LISP for this new programming language. 50 years later, Lisp is still in use. During the past five decades, it has been changed and turned, which led to dialects differing in many respects from the original design, but the central corner stones remained the same, making it one of the oldest programming language still in use today, second only to Fortran.

 1958 年 10 月,John MaCarthy 发表了一系列关于他正在致力于设计一个特别适合人工智能研究的新编程语言的报告中的一篇。那篇报告里首次将这种新编程语言命名为 LISP。50 年后,Lisp 仍然在使用。在过去的 50 年里,它有许多变化和调整,并产生出一些在许多方面与其最初设计截然不同的方言,但是它的中心思想仍然不变,使其成为今天仍在使用的最古老的语言之一,仅次于 Fortran。

The final design for the first incarnation of Lisp was published in an issue of the Communications of the ACM in 1960. That version of Lisp pioneered numerous languages features that are nowadays taken for granted. To name but a few: Lisp introduced a conditional expression, which was taken over in other languages as the ubiquitous if statement; it introduced recursion and first-class functions, the essential ingredients of functional and many other programming languages; it introduced reference semantics for variables, without which object-oriented programming would not exist; it introduced symbolic expressions, a generic and uniform representation for data (later reinvented as XML) and programs, the latter enabling program transformations from within an application; it introduced garbage collection for the very first time in programming languages; and it even already had a combination of metadata and dynamic dispatch in the form of symbols and property lists.

第一个 Lisp 的最终实现发表在 1960 年的 Communications of the ACM (CACM) 上。那一版本的 Lisp 首创了几个至今仍被采纳的语言特性:Lisp 引入了一个条件表达式,后来被其他语言拿去作一般性的 if 语句了;它引入了递归和第一类 (first-class) 函数,函数型和许多其他编程语言的核心成分;它引入了变量的引用语义,没有它的话就没有面向对象编程语言;它引入了符号表达式,通用和统一的数据和程序的表示形式 (后来被重新发明成 XML),后者使得程序可以在应用里进行转换;它很早就在编程语言里引入了垃圾收集机制;并且它甚至已经有了一个元数据组合以及基于符号和属性列表的动态派发机制。

Lisp is clearly one of the most influential programming languages in the history of computer science: Timothy Hart added macros to Lisp in the 1960's; Warren Teitelman invented an advice facility for Lisp in the 1960's as the very first precursor to aspect-oriented programming; Carl Hewitt used Lisp as a platform to develop backtracking (essential for logic programming) and the actor model; Alan Kay acknowledges the heavy influence of Lisp on Smalltalk, the first explicit object-oriented programming language; Brian Smith developed the concept of computational reflection using Lisp as a starting point; Paul Graham used Lisp to develop the first continuation-based web application; and even today Lisp is on the forefront for the upcoming Web 3.0.

Lisp 无疑是计算机科学史上最具影响力的编程语言之一:Timothy Hart 在 1960 年代为 Lisp 增加了宏;Warren Teitelman 在 1960 年代发明了一个 advice 机制,成为了面向方面 (aspect-oriented) 编程的最早先驱;Carl Hewitt 将 Lisp 作为一个开发回溯 (逻辑编程的本质) 和其他 actor 模型的平台;Alan Kay 承认了 Lisp 对于 SmallTalk 的重要影响,后者是第一个明确的面向对象编程语言;Brian Smith 开发了第一个基于续延 (continuation-based) 的 Web 应用;而且直到今天 Lisp 仍处在即将到来的 Web 3.0 的前沿。

We would like to celebrate Lisp's 50th birthday. OOPSLA 2008 is an excellent venue for such a celebration, because object-oriented programming benefitted heavily from Lisp ideas and because OOPSLA 2008 takes place in October, exactly 50 years after the name Lisp has been used publicly for the first time.

John McCarthy has already agreed to give a talk about the early history of Lisp, returning to OOPSLA after his successful keynote talk at OOPSLA 2007. Guy Steele and Richard Gabriel will repeat their HOPL-II talk about the Evolution of Lisp from 1992, using a particularly unusual set of slides. Pascal Costanza will talk about the recent developments in the Lisp community, which has seen a surprising resurrection after its wake from the AI Winter. We will invite other influential Lispers, covering important aspects in the development of Lisp during the past five decades. Finally, we will have an open panel discussion about the next 50 years of Lisp.

OOPSLA 2008 will take place in Nashville, Tennessee, USA from October 19 to October 23. OOPSLA is the major annual conference on object-oriented programming worldwide and continues to attract several hundreds of the brightest minds in this field both from industry and academia since over 20 years. Find more information about OOPSLA 2008 at http://oopsla.org

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