Kent Pitman

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Kent M. Pitman
United States
NationalityUnited States
OccupationComputer scientist
EmployerHyperMeta, Inc.
Known forLisp, Scheme

Kent M. Pitman is the President of HyperMeta, Inc. and has been involved for many years in the design, implementation and use of Lisp and Scheme systems. He is sometimes known by his initials KMP.[1]

Kent Pitman is the author of the Common Lisp Condition System[dubious ] [2] as well as of numerous papers on Lisp programming and computer programming in general.

While in high school, he saw output from one of the "guess the animal" pseudo-artificial intelligence games then popular. He considered implementing a version of the program in BASIC, but once at MIT, he instead implemented it in several dialects of Lisp, including Maclisp.[3]

He was a technical contributor to X3J13, the ANSI subcommittee that standardized Common Lisp and contributed to the design of the programming language. He prepared the document that became ANSI Common Lisp, the Common Lisp HyperSpec (a hypertext conversion of the standard), and the document that became ISO ISLISP. He can often be found on the Usenet newsgroup comp.lang.lisp, [4] where he is involved in discussions about Lisp and computer programming, but also an insider's perspective on Lisp's evolution and Common Lisp's standardization. In some posts there, he has expressed his opinion on open-source software, including open source implementations of Lisp and Scheme, as something that should be judged individually on its essential merits, rather than automatically considered good merely by the fact of being free or open.


  1. ^ "KMP's ANIMAL Game".
  2. ^ Guy L. Steele Jr., Common Lisp: the Language, 2nd ed., Chapter 29
  3. ^ "KMP's ANIMAL Game: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)".
  4. ^ Google Groups list of Kent Pitman's posts

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