Synopses & Reviews
Lisp has been hailed as the world's most powerful programming language, but its cryptic syntax and academic reputation can be enough to scare off even experienced programmers. Those dark days are finally over—Land of Lisp brings the power of functional programming to the people!
With his brilliantly quirky comics and out-of-this-world games, longtime Lisper Conrad Barski teaches you the mysteries of Common Lisp. You'll start with the basics, like list manipulation, I/O, and recursion, then move on to more complex topics like macros, higher order programming, and domain-specific languages. Then, when your brain overheats, you can kick back with an action-packed comic book interlude!
Along the way you'll create (and play) games like Wizard Adventure, a text adventure with a whiskey-soaked twist, and Grand Theft Wumpus, the most violent version of Hunt the Wumpus the world has ever seen.
You'll learn to:
- Master the quirks of Lisp's syntax and semantics
- Write concise and elegant functional programs
- Use macros, create domain-specific languages, and learn other advanced Lisp techniques
- Create your own web server, and use it to play browser-based games
- Put your Lisp skills to the test by writing brain-melting games like Dice of Doom and Orc Battle
With Land of Lisp, the power of functional programming is yours to wield.
Lisp is a uniquely powerful programming language that, despite its academic reputation, is actually very practical. Land of Lisp brings the language into the real world, teaching readers Lisp by showing them how to write several complete Lisp-based games, including a text adventure, an evolution simulation, and a robot battle. While building these games, readers learn the core concepts of Lisp programming, such as recursion, input/output, object-oriented programming, and macros. And thanks to Lisp's powerful syntax, the example code is short and easy to understand. The book is filled with the author's brilliant Lisp cartoons, which are sure to appeal to many Lisp fans and, in the tradition of all No Starch Press titles, make learning more fun.
About the Author
Conrad Barski has an M.D. from the University of Miami, as well as nearly 20 years of programming experience. Currently, he is developing cardiology software for Wolters Kluwer Health. He is also an avid cartoonist, having created the popular alien Lisp mascot as well as many graphical web tutorials, including the "Casting SPELs" series. He is active in the D.C. developer community and an organizer of FringeDC, a group interested in fringe programming languages, where he gets to indulge in his love for "Lispy" programming languages with other DC language geeks.
Table of Contents
Dedication; Acknowledgments; Introduction; What Makes Lisp So Cool and Unusual?; If Lisp Is So Great, Why Don't More People Use It?; Where Did Lisp Come From?; Where Does Lisp Get Its Power?; Lisp is Power; Chapter 1: Getting Started with Lisp; 1.1 Lisp Dialects; 1.2 Getting Started with CLISP; 1.3 What You've Learned; Chapter 2: Creating Your First Lisp Program; 2.1 The Guess-My-Number Game; 2.2 Defining Global Variables in Lisp; 2.3 Basic Lisp Etiquette; 2.4 Defining Global Functions in Lisp; 2.5 Defining Local Variables in Lisp; 2.6 Defining Local Functions in Lisp; 2.7 What You've Learned; Chapter 3: Exploring the Syntax of Lisp Code; 3.1 Syntax and Semantics; 3.2 The Building Blocks of Lisp Syntax; 3.3 How Lisp Distinguishes Between Code and Data; 3.4 Lists in Lisp; 3.5 What You've Learned; Lisp is Symmetry; Chapter 4: Making Decisions with Conditions; 4.1 The Symmetry of nil and (); 4.2 The Conditionals: if and Beyond; 4.3 Cool Tricks with Conditions; 4.4 Comparing Stuff: eq, equal, and More; 4.5 What You've Learned; Chapter 5: Building a Text Game Engine; 5.1 The Wizard's Adventure Game; 5.2 Describing the Scenery with an Association List; 5.3 Describing the Location; 5.4 Describing the Paths; 5.5 Describing Objects at a Specific Location; 5.6 Describing It All; 5.7 Walking Around in Our World; 5.8 Picking Up Objects; 5.9 Checking Our Inventory; 5.10 What You've Learned; Chapter 6: Interacting with the World: Reading and Printing in Lisp; 6.1 Printing and Reading Text; 6.2 The Symmetry Between Code and Data in Lisp; 6.3 Adding a Custom Interface to Our Game Engine; 6.4 Trying Out Our Fancy New Game Interface; 6.5 The Dangers of read and eval; 6.6 What You've Learned; Chapter 6.5: lambda: A Function So Important It Deserves Its Own Chapter; 7.1 What lambda Does; 7.2 Why lambda Is So Important; 7.3 What You've Learned; Chapter 7: Going Beyond Basic Lists; 8.1 Exotic Lists; 8.2 Coping with Complicated Data; 8.3 Creating a Graph; 8.4 Creating Undirected Graphs; 8.5 What You've Learned; Chapter 8: This Ain't Your Daddy's Wumpus; 9.1 The Grand Theft Wumpus Game; 9.2 Defining the Edges of Congestion City; 9.3 Building the Nodes for Congestion City; 9.4 Initializing a New Game of Grand Theft Wumpus; 9.5 Drawing a Map of Our City; 9.6 Let's Hunt Some Wumpus!; 9.7 What You've Learned; Chapter 9: Advanced Datatypes and Generic Programming; 10.1 Arrays; 10.2 Hash Tables; 10.3 Common Lisp Structures; 10.4 Handling Data in a Generic Way; 10.5 The Orc Battle Game; 10.6 What You've Learned; Lisp is Hacking; Chapter 10: Looping with the loop Command; 11.1 The loop Macro; 11.2 Using loop to Evolve!; 11.3 What You've Learned; Chapter 11: Printing Text with the format Function; 12.1 Anatomy of the format Function; 12.2 Control Sequences for Printing Lisp Values; 12.3 Control Sequences for Formatting Numbers; 12.4 Printing Multiple Lines of Output; 12.5 Justifying Output; 12.6 Iterating Through Lists Using Control Sequences; 12.7 A Crazy Formatting Trick for Creating Pretty Tables of Data; 12.8 Attack of the Robots!; 12.9 What You've Learned; Chapter 12: Working with Streams; 13.1 Types of Streams; 13.2 Working with Files; 13.3 Working with Sockets; 13.4 String Streams: The Oddball Type; 13.5 What You've Learned; Chapter 13: Let's Create a Web Server!; 14.1 Error Handling in Common Lisp; 14.2 Writing a Web Server from Scratch; 14.3 Building a Dynamic Website; 14.4 What You've Learned; Chapter 13.5: Functional Programming Is Beautiful; Lisp is Science; Chapter 14: Ramping Lisp Up a Notch with Functional Programming; 16.1 What Is Functional Programming?; 16.2 Anatomy of a Program Written in the Functional Style; 16.3 Higher-Order Programming; 16.4 Why Functional Programming Is Crazy; 16.5 Why Functional Programming Is Fantastic; 16.6 What You've Learned; Chapter 15: Dice of Doom, a Game Written in the Functional Style; 17.1 The Rules of Dice of Doom; 17.2 A Sample Game of Dice of Doom; 17.3 Implementing Dice of Doom, Version 1; 17.4 Creating an Intelligent Computer Opponent; 17.5 Making Dice of Doom Faster; 17.6 What You've Learned; Chapter 16: The Magic of Lisp Macros; 18.1 A Simple Lisp Macro; 18.2 More Complex Macros; 18.3 Macros: Dangers and Alternatives; 18.4 What You've Learned; Chapter 17: Domain-Specific Languages; 19.1 What Is a Domain?; 19.2 Writing SVG Files; 19.3 Creating Custom Game Commands for Wizard's Adventure Game; 19.4 What You've Learned; Chapter 18: Lazy Programming; 20.1 Adding Lazy Evaluation to Lisp; 20.2 Dice of Doom, Version 2; 20.3 Making Our AI Work on Larger Game Boards; 20.4 What You've Learned; Chapter 19: Creating a Graphical, Web-Based Version of Dice of Doom; 21.1 Drawing the Game Board Using the SVG Format; 21.2 Building the Web Server Interface; 21.3 Playing Version 3 of Dice of Doom; 21.4 What You've Learned; Chapter 20: Making Dice of Doom More Fun; 22.1 Increasing the Number of Players; 22.2 Rolling the Dice; 22.3 Improving the Dice of Doom Reinforcement Rules; 22.4 Conclusion; Epilogue; Functional Guild Cruiser; Macro Guild Melee Fighters; Restart Guild Armored Fighter; Generic Setter Guild Supply Ship; DSL Guild Hot Rods; CLOS Guild Battleship; The Continuation Guild Rocket Pods; Brevity Guild Micro Fighter; Multicore Guild Formation Fighters; The Lazy Guild Frigate; Updates;