Development Tools for CS-300

Common Lisp

For your LISP exercise, you need to use the Common LISP interpreter, clisp, available for free download via anonymous ftp from in the directory /pub/lisp/clisp/. It is available for a number of Unix platforms including Linux and Tru64 (which runs on, as well as on PCs running Windows (any version).

Forbin Version

Clisp has already been installed on forbin; just type clisp at the Unix prompt when logged into your account to start it up. When you enter the clisp command, it actually runs a small script that loads an initial set of standard functions into the interpreter's memory for you. If you want to use any command line arguments, you need to customize this. For example, I like to start it with the "-q" option, which eliminates a lot of extraneous text that normally fills up the screen when you start it. To do so, I put an executable text file in my ~/bin dirctory on forbin, which says:

exec /usr/local/lib/lisp/ -q -M /usr/local/lib/lisp/lispinit.mem "$@"
See me if you are interested in this and can't figure out how to do it from the above directions.

Windows Version

If you prefer to run clisp on your PC, you can do so, but you have to download and install it yourself. You can download a copy of the July, 1999 version for Windows here: Since this is a binary file, how to download this file depends on what browser you are using, and the version number of your browser. Try right clicking on the link and selecting "save as" from the menu that pops up. Or try clicking while holding the shift key. You should end up with a file size of 1,355,246 bytes on your PC's hard drive.

To install clisp, you have to unzip the file you downloaded into some directory on your hard drive. The following instructions assume you are using WinZip (which you have to download from if you don't already have it) to do the unzipping. Be sure when you click "Extract" that the checkbox to "use file folders" is clicked. If you extract the files to C:\Program Files (the standard place) you will create a subdirectory named C:\Program Files\clisp-1999-07-22\, which will contain a few subdirectories (with documentation, etc.) and an executable file named clisp.exe in C:\Program Files\clisp-1999-07-22\. There will also be a "memory image file" named C:\Program Files\clisp-1999-07-22\lispinit.mem. To run the program you have to start a DOS Command window and type the following command:

C:\Program Files\clisp-1999-07-22\clisp -q -M C:\Program Files\clisp-1999-07-22\lispinit.mem
It's conceivable that you might not like typing all this each time you want to run clisp. You can set up a shortcut to do this for you, or you can use a batch file to accomplish the same thing. For now, we'll assume you like typing very long command lines or know how to deal with the shortcut or batch file issue on your own.

Both Versions

If you run either version of clisp, you will see the eval-loop prompt, which on forbin is just a > sign, but on Windows it will be a line number in square brackets followed by a > sign. Type in (exit) or (quit) to get back to the forbin or DOS command prompt.

From here you should be able to start working your way through the Wilensky book!