Introduction to Lisp-Stat
Compiling a Lisp-Stat program is straightforward. The statement (compile-file "foo") in Lisp-Stat will compile the file foo into foo.fsl. When you load the file foo later, the compiled file is loaded if it exists and is newer than the uncompiled file. Debugging can be accomplished via the debug, baktrace and trace functions. A stepper is also available to step through lines of code.
There are many interesting dynamic animations can be constructed in Lisp-Stat. This article has only scratched the surface. Lisp-Stat continues to evolve and Xlisp itself continues to move closer and closer to Common Lisp due to the efforts of many, particularly Tom Almy and Luke Tierney. The available body of applications and software for Lisp-Stat is also growing; see the sidebar “Getting Lisp-Stat” for more information.
Balasubramanian Narasimhan teaches Statistics at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. His interests include classical western music, Seminole football and the history of India. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisp-Stat is freely available on the net. The primary distribution site is ftp.stat.umn.edu. Look under pub/xlispstat for xlispstat-3-44.tar.gz. The file is about 1.2 Megabytes, which means that it fits nicely on a 3.5-inch disk. It compiles out of the box on Linux, but to use the foreign-function interface, you must first install the GNU dld library, available from tsx-11.mit.edu under pub/linux/binaries/libs as dld-3.2.5.bin.tar.gz. For those who don't want the adventure of building from scratch, you can obtain a binary from euler.bd.psu.edu under pub/lj/xlispstat. Follow the instructions in the README file. The file xlispstat-3.44-bin.tar.gz is the whole binary.
There is a mailing list for Xlisp-Stat users. To join the mailing list send a message with your e-mail address saying that you want to subscribe to email@example.com.
The Usenet newsgroup comp.lang.lisp.x is devoted to XLisp, however it is a low-volume newsgroup averaging 2-3 articles a day.
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