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Awesome Learning

A curated list of awesome Common Lisp learning resources

Here you can see meta information about this topic like the time we last updated this page, the original creator of the awesome list and a link to the original GitHub repository.

Last Update: Oct. 20, 2021, 9 a.m.

Thank you GustavBertram & contributors
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Awesome Common Lisp Learning

A curated list of awesome Common Lisp frameworks, libraries and other shiny stuff.


A curated and non exhaustive list of Common Lisp libraries and resources.


List of awesome application software built with Common Lisp

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How To Use

The* language reference document for Common Lisp. Bookmark it now.

An excellent way to learn the language through practice, have your code reviewed, and to discuss solutions with other people.

Lisp Environments

A portable and multiplatform Common Lisp environment. It ships a slightly customized Emacs with SLIME, SBCL (a popular Common Lisp implementation), Quicklisp and Git. No installation needed, so it's a very quick and easy way to get going.

An IDE (Emacs + SLIME), Common Lisp implementation (Clozure Common Lisp) and library manager (Quicklisp), pre-packaged as archives for Windows, macOS and Linux. Descendant of "Lisp in a Box" mentioned in Practical Common Lisp.

A non-Emacs based IDE for LispWorks Lisp, with some restrictions.

A HOWTO for putting together a Lisp environment, and has information on useful libraries and how to structure projects.

Online References

The* language reference document for Common Lisp. Bookmark it now.

Covers the Common Lisp Object System (CLOS).

The last draft version of the ANSI INCITS 226-1994 (previously ANSI X3.226-1994) standard.

A list of useful Lisp recipes. Also contains a list of other online sources of CL information.

A description of the Common Lisp language from just before it was standardized by ANSI. Don't use it as a reference.

Claims it has more useful descriptions of LOOP and FORMAT than the CLHS does.

Some recommend using CLtL2 for insight and inspiration, but to use the CLHS when programming.

Online Books

Common Lisp Koans is a language learning exercise in the same vein as the ruby koans, python koans and others. It is a port of the prior koans with some modifications to highlight lisp-specific features. Structured as ordered groups of broken unit tests, the project guides the learner progressively through many Common Lisp language features.


Lisp code for the textbook "Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming"


a good introduction for people new to programming. Contains code for really useful utilities like DTRACE and SDRAW.

A great introduction for experienced programmers, and tries to highlight from the very beginning what makes CL different to other languages.

Paul Graham's amazing book on Lisp macros (and other interesting things).

An advanced book on Lisp Macros.

Several people recommend that you be comfortable with On Lisp before reading this book, and that the start is slow.

Has several non-trivial examples, and demonstrates the power of this feature.

Offline Books

A fun introduction to Lisp that uses comics and has you writing games.

A thorough, practical covering of the entire language, with exercises. Not recommended as a starter text, due to [some caveats][20].

Common Lisp Recipes** is a collection of solutions to problems and answers to questions you are likely to encounter when writing real-world applications in Common Lisp. Published in 2015.

An in-depth description of the CLOS, and shows how to use it with example applications.

The specification of a metaobject protocol extension to CLOS.

Recommends reading Practical Common Lisp, then Object-Oriented Programming in Common Lisp, and then AMOP.

Online Community

The Common Lisp Wiki. A great resource for all things CL. Has a great Getting Started page and an extensive list of Lisp books.

on the Freenode IRC network are great places for learning about Common Lisp.

An active community, and has loads of useful links and reference documents in the sidebar.

An excellent way to learn the language through practice, have your code reviewed, and to discuss solutions with other people.

Library Management

A package management platform for Lisp libraries.

Documentation for projects in Quicklisp.

Common Lisp Implementations