Lisp belongs to a category of things in this world – also containing Go – about which I know just enough to know that I don’t really know the first thing about them, although I’d very much like to. I’ve played around with Common Lisp a couple of times now, and I’m at a point on the learning curve where I can see the crazy-powerful elegance of the thing from a distance, but I’m not far along enough to really be able to get a good grip on it and do anything useful with it.

Anyway, this weekend I finally accepted that ASDF isn’t an optional extra for serious package maintainers, but something I’m really going to have to get my head around to build anything nontrivial. Turns out it’s not all that hard; it’s just that (like Lisp itself) it’s on a different branch of the programming family tree to the entire Algol-descended world and its associated collections of compilers, Makefiles, virtual machines, environments, editors and whatnot, so everything works just a little bit differently to what I’ve learned to expect so far.

So I got CL-SDL working, copied-and-pasted and started playing with some changes to the NeHe tutorials, and that’s about as far as I got, but it’s nontrivial progress and I’m happy enough with it that I’ll now either (a) use it as a starting point for something serious, or (b) consider it a job well done and not look at the Lisp world again for another two years, but regret it the whole time.

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