The Most Popular Lisp, Ranked

Choose the Lisp you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 26, 2024 07:02
For enthusiasts of programming, understanding which versions of Lisp stand out can significantly streamline learning and project development. By identifying which variants are favored by the community, both new learners and experienced coders can focus their efforts more effectively, maximizing productivity and enhancing their skill set. This site enables users to cast votes for their preferred versions of Lisp, ensuring that the rankings reflect current trends and community preferences. By participating, users not only contribute to a valuable resource for their fellow programmers but also help in shaping a resource that guides future learners toward the most beneficial and widely used tools.

What Is the Most Popular Lisp?

  1. 1

    Common Lisp

    A powerful dynamic multi-paradigm programming language that supports procedural, functional, and object-oriented programming.
    • Standardized: Yes, ANSI X3.226-1994
    • Multi-paradigm: Yes
  2. 2


    A minimalist, multi-paradigm dialect of Lisp known for its clean syntax and powerful macro system.
    • Minimalist: Yes
    • Designed: 1970s
  3. 3

    Emacs Lisp

    A dialect of Lisp used as a scripting language by the GNU Emacs text editor.
    • Purpose: Extending Emacs
    • Dynamic: Yes
  4. 4


    A modern, functional dialect of Lisp on the Java platform which emphasizes immutable data structures and concurrency.
    • Platform: Java Virtual Machine
    • Immutable Data Structures: Yes
  5. 5


    A dialect of Lisp programming language built specifically for use with the full version of AutoCAD and its derivatives.
    • Specific Use: AutoCAD
    • Dialect: Lisp
  6. 6


    A general-purpose, multi-paradigm programming language in the Lisp-Scheme family, known for its powerful macro system.
    • Pedagogical: Yes
    • Macro System: Powerful
  7. 7


    A commercial Lisp development environment that provides an implementation of ANSI Common Lisp.
    • Commercial: Yes
    • Environment: Integrated Development Environment
  8. 8

    Allegro Common Lisp

    A commercial implementation of Common Lisp developed by Franz Inc. It is known for its comprehensive development environment.
    • Commercial: Yes
    • Developer: Franz Inc.
  9. 9


    An implementation of Common Lisp originally developed by Bruno Haible and Michael Stoll for the purposes of research and teaching.
    • Implementation: Common Lisp
    • Developed by: Bruno Haible, Michael Stoll
  10. 10

    SBCL (Steel Bank Common Lisp)

    An open-source implementation of ANSI Common Lisp featuring high performance and robustness.
    • Open Source: Yes
    • Performance: High

Missing your favorite Lisp?

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular Lisp. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Lisp is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 103 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Lisp once every 24 hours. The rank of each Lisp is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Popular Lisp

Common Lisp
Rank #1 for the most popular Lisp: Common Lisp (Source)
Lisp is a family of programming languages with a long history. It was created in the late 1950s. Lisp stands for "LISt Processing." It is known for its unique syntax and powerful features. Lisp has influenced many other programming languages.

Lisp uses a simple, uniform syntax. Code and data share the same structure. This makes Lisp very flexible. You can write code that manipulates other code. This is called "metaprogramming." It is one of Lisp's strengths.

Lisp programs are made up of expressions. These expressions are written as lists. A list is a sequence of elements enclosed in parentheses. The first element is usually a function or operator. The rest are arguments. For example, the expression (+ 1 2) adds 1 and 2. The result is 3.

Lisp has a powerful macro system. Macros let you create new syntax. They transform code before it runs. This allows you to extend the language. Macros are a key feature of Lisp. They give it great expressive power.

Lisp supports functional programming. Functions are first-class citizens. You can pass them as arguments, return them from other functions, and store them in variables. Lisp also supports recursion. This is when a function calls itself. Recursion is a common technique in functional programming.

Lisp has dynamic typing. You do not need to declare the type of a variable. The type is determined at runtime. This makes Lisp very flexible. But it can also lead to runtime errors. You need to test your code carefully.

Lisp has garbage collection. This means the system automatically reclaims memory. You do not need to manage memory yourself. This reduces the chance of memory leaks and other errors.

Lisp has a strong tradition of interactive development. You can enter expressions and see the results immediately. This is called a "read-eval-print loop" or REPL. The REPL makes it easy to experiment and test code. It is a valuable tool for learning and development.

Lisp has a small, simple core. But it is highly extensible. You can build complex systems from simple parts. Many Lisp systems come with rich libraries. These libraries provide tools for many tasks. They include data structures, input/output, and networking.

Lisp has a loyal following. Many programmers love its elegance and power. They enjoy its unique approach to programming. Lisp has a strong community. There are many resources for learning and support.

Lisp has been used in many fields. It is popular in artificial intelligence research. It has also been used in web development, education, and more. Its flexibility makes it suitable for many tasks.

Lisp has a long history. It has evolved over time. Many dialects have been created. Each has its own features and strengths. But they all share the core principles of Lisp.

Lisp is a powerful and flexible language. It has unique features that set it apart. It is a valuable tool for many programmers. If you are interested in programming, it is worth learning Lisp.

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