List of Lisp-family programming languages

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The functional programming language Lisp is the second-oldest high-level programming language with direct descendants and closely related dialects still in widespread use today. The language Fortran is older by one year.[1][2] Lisp, like Fortran, has changed a lot since its early days, and many dialects have existed over its history. Today, the most widely known general-purpose Lisp dialects are Common Lisp and Scheme.

Language Year begun Created by (at) Comments References
Chialisp 2019 Bram Cohen Powerful, secure LISP-like language for Chia blockchain to encumber and release funds with smart-contract abilities [3][4][5]
ACL2 1990 Robert Boyer,
J Moore,
Matt Kaufmann
A Computational Logic for Applicative Common Lisp consists of a programming language, an extensible theory in a first-order logic, and a mechanical theorem prover [6]
Arc 2008 Paul Graham Dialect of Lisp developed by Paul Graham and Robert Morris [7]
AutoLISP 1986 David Betz Built to include and use with the full version of AutoCAD and its derivatives [8]
BBN LISP 1966 BBN Based on L. Peter Deutsch's implementation of Lisp for PDP-1, which was developed from 1960 to 1964; in time language was expanded until it became its own separate dialect in 1966; later renamed Interlisp [9]
Chez Scheme 1985 R. Kent Dybvig Scheme dialect
Chicken 2000 Felix Winkelmann Scheme dialect
Clojure 2007 Rich Hickey Lisp dialect, emphasizes functional programming; runs on Java virtual machine, Common Language Runtime, and JavaScript engines; like other Lisps, treats code as data (homoiconicity) and has a macro system [10]
ANSI Common Lisp 1994 ANSI X3J13 committee Common Lisp enhanced and standardized, published in ANSI standard document ANSI INCITS 226-1994; to the features of Common Lisp, it adds the loop macro, and the Common Lisp Object System (CLOS) to provide object-oriented programming paradigm with multiple dispatch (multimethods), and method combinations; runs on many platforms: Unix, Linux, macOS, Windows, JVM, JavaScript, Unix/C, LLVM/C++, Android, iOS [11]
Common Lisp 1984 Lisp dialect first standardized in a book, "Common Lisp the Language", by Guy L. Steele,[12] developed as a standardized and improved successor of Maclisp; statically and dynamically scoped; strongly-typed, allows (optional) type declarations;[13] separate namespaces for functions versus data variables, a trait often named Lisp-2; object-oriented programming is possible via libraries such as Flavors, CommonLOOPS, and later CLOS; treats code as data (homoiconicity) and has a macro system; The reader is extensible via reader macros[13] [11]
Dylan 1992 Apple Computer Mostly based on Scheme and Common Lisp, was designed as system and application programming language by Apple; first used to write an operating system and applications for internal prototypes of the later released Apple Newton computer; first official version of Apple Dylan also had s-expression based syntax; Apple collaborated with partners to develop this language
Emacs Lisp 1976 Richard Stallman Also termed Elisp, used by GNU Emacs and XEmacs text editors to implement most editing functions built into Emacs [14]
EuLisp 1990 Statically and dynamically scoped Lisp dialect developed by a loose formation of industrial and academic Lisp users and developers across Europe; the standardizers intended to create a new Lisp "less encumbered by the past" (compared to Common Lisp), and not so minimalist as Scheme, and to integrate the object-oriented programming paradigm well [15]
Franz Lisp 1980 Richard Fateman Written at UC Berkeley by the students of Professor Richard J. Fateman, based largely on Maclisp and distributed with the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) for the Digital Equipment Corp (DEC) VAX [16]
Game Oriented Assembly Lisp (GOAL) 2000s Andy Gavin Video game programming language developed by Andy Gavin and the Jak and Daxter team at Naughty Dog; written using Allegro Common Lisp; used in developing the full game series [17]
Hy 2013 Paul Tagliamonte A lisp with tight integration with Python
Ikarus 2007 Abdulaziz Ghuloum Scheme dialect
Interlisp 1967 BBN Programming environment built around a version of Lisp language; development began in 1967 at Bolt, Beranek and Newman in Cambridge, Massachusetts as BBN LISP, which ran on PDP-10 machines running the TENEX operating system; when Danny Bobrow, Warren Teitelman, and Ronald Kaplan moved from BBN to Xerox PARC, it was renamed Interlisp [18]
ISLISP 1997 WG16 Small core language to help bridge the gap between differing Lisp dialects [19]
Le Lisp 1981 INRIA Designed by Jérôme Chailloux, Emmanuel St. James, INRIA [20][21][22]
Lisp Flavored Erlang (LFE) 2008 Robert Virding Lisp dialect built on Core Erlang and the Erlang virtual machine BEAM
Lisp Machine Lisp 1984 Sometimes named Zetalisp, is a direct descendant of Maclisp; was developed in the mid to late 1970s as the systems programming language for the MIT Lisp machines [23]
Lispkit Lisp 1980 Peter Henderson A lexically scoped, purely functional subset of Lisp ("Pure Lisp") developed as a testbed for functional programming concepts. [24]
Maclisp 1966 Project MAC Originated at MIT's Project MAC in late 1960s; based on Lisp 1.5; Richard Greenblatt was main developer of original codebase for the PDP-6;[25] Jon L. White was responsible for later maintenance and development [25]
MultiLisp 1980s Robert H. Halstead Scheme dialect, extended with constructs for parallel computing, executing, and shared memory; also had some unusual garbage collection and task scheduling algorithms [26]
NIL 1970s MIT 32-bit Lisp implementation developed at MIT; intended to be the successor to Maclisp; NIL stood for "New Implementation of LISP", and was in part a response to DECs VAX computer [27][28]
OpenLisp 1988 Christian Jullien ISLISP compatible language with many Common Lisp extensions; runs on most modern operating systems [29]
Owl Lisp 2012 Aki Helin Pure functional Scheme dialect; based on applicable subset of the R7RS standard; has been extended mainly with threads and the data structures needed for purely functional operation [30]
PicoLisp 1988 Alexander Burger Open-source Lisp dialect; runs on Linux and other POSIX-compliant systems; most prominent features are simplicity and minimalism [31]
Portable Standard Lisp 1980 University of Utah Tail-recursive dynamically bound Lisp dialect inspired by its predecessor, Standard Lisp and the Portable Lisp Compiler; it implements the Reduce computer algebra system
Racket 1994 PLT Inc. General purpose, multi-paradigm programming language in the Lisp-Scheme family; one of its design goals is to serve as a platform for language creation, design, and implementation; it is used in many contexts such as scripting, general-purpose programming, computer science education, and research [32][33]
Scheme 1970 Guy L. Steele,
Gerald Sussman
Functional programming language with a minimalist design philosophy specifying a small standard core with powerful tools for language extension [12]
Scheme In One Defun (SIOD) 1988 George J. Carrette Small Scheme implementation, written in C, made to embed in C programs
SKILL 1990 Cadence Design Systems Used as a scripting language and PCell description language used in many EDA software suites by Cadence [34]
T 1984 Jonathan A. Rees,
Norman I. Adams
Scheme dialect developed in the early 1980s by Jonathan A. Rees, Kent M. Pitman, and Norman I. Adams of Yale University as an experiment in language design and implementation [35]
TXR 2009 Kaz Kylheku Consists of a Lisp dialect (TXR Lisp) and a pattern language for processing text (TXR Pattern Language) [36]


1958 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020
 LISP 1, 1.5, LISP 2(abandoned)
 Lisp Machine Lisp
 Scheme  R5RS  R6RS  R7RS small
 ZIL (Zork Implementation Language)
 Franz Lisp
 Common Lisp  ANSI standard
 Le Lisp
 MIT Scheme
 Chez Scheme
 Emacs Lisp
 PLT Scheme  Racket
 GNU Guile
 Visual LISP


  1. ^ "SICP: Foreword". Archived from the original on 2001-07-27. Lisp is a survivor, having been in use for about a quarter of a century. Among the active programming languages only Fortran has had a longer life.
  2. ^ "Conclusions". Archived from the original on 2014-04-03. Retrieved 2016-03-18.
  3. ^ Cohen, Bram. "Chialisp".
  4. ^ Cohen, Bram. "Bram Cohen". Twitter.
  5. ^ Cohen, Bram (2019-11-27). "Introducing Chialisp". Chia Network. Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  6. ^ "ACL2 Annotated Bibliography".
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  17. ^ "[Sweng-gamedev] Higher Level Languages (Was: Next Gen Multiplatform Load Balancing)". Archived from the original on 12 April 2007.
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  19. ^ "Programming Language ISLISP". Archived from the original on 22 January 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  20. ^ Chailloux, Jérôme (1983). "LE LISP 80 version 12" (PDF). INRIA. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
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  22. ^ Chailloux, Jérôme (November 2001). Le_Lisp de l'INRIA: Le Manuel de référence. Version 14. Rocquencourt France: INRIA. p. 190.
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  29. ^ "Eligis: OpenLisp, ISLISP, ISO Lisp". Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  30. ^ "Owl Lisp". Retrieved 2020-02-04.
  31. ^ Burger, Alexander. "Internal structures". Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  32. ^ "Welcome to Racket". Retrieved 2011-08-15.
  33. ^ "Dialects of Racket and Scheme". Retrieved 2011-08-15.
  34. ^ Barnes, T.J. (1990). "SKILL: a CAD system extension language". Design Automation Conference, 1990. Proceedings., 27th ACM/IEEE. DAC'90. doi:10.1109/DAC.1990.114865.
  35. ^ "The T Project". Jonathan Rees. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  36. ^ "TXR Language". Kaz Kylheku. Retrieved 31 August 2017.