1.1 About Common Lisp
1.1.2 The environment This guide describes the following features of the Lisp environment:
- The Lisp system is an interactive one. When you type an expression at the terminal, Lisp evaluates it and displays the result automatically. Other programming languages compute by compiling and running programs. Lisp computes by evaluating the expressions that are typed to it.
- interactive, symbolic debugging
- Debugging in Lisp can be done as a program is written. Every expression typed to Lisp is evaluated, and therefore at each stage of testing, the Lisp environment is available for examining the state of a program and its data structures. You can thus incrementally build and test large, complex programs. See Chapter 3, "Debugging Lisp Programs" and Chapter 4, "Debugging Tools" for more information.
- Lisp manages storage by providing a dynamic heap of storage that is automatically allocated as needed and then reclaimed, or garbage collected, when no longer needed. You do not need to explicitly allocate and deallocate memory as you are programming. See Chapter 5, "Storage Management in Common Lisp" for more information.
- The Liquid Common Lisp Compiler compiles Lisp code into machine code; your programs can run more efficiently as a result. Compiled code and interpreted code can be intermixed, which allows you to incrementally develop and compile code. See Chapter 6, "Compiling Lisp Programs" for more information.
- Users of LCL/HP, LCL/Solaris, and LCL/SunOS all can use the Application Environment to deliver applications developed in Lisp. The Application Environment is a smaller, more restricted Lisp environment that you can package with Lisp applications. See Appendix A, "The Application Environment" for more information.
The User's Guide - 9 SEP 1996
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