Setting up for Lisp on OS X

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This is how I roll, you might choose a different path.

  1. Install Emacs. Get a nice, modern pre-built binary from Emacs For Mac OS X. It even supports fullscreen mode

  2. Install Emacs Prelude which provides a useful, opinionated emacs environment which is easily configured.

  3. Install clisp. I use homebrew so brew install clisp takes care of that for me.

  4. Install quicklisp; from Terminal go to a temporary directory and download quicklisp.lisp with curl -O http://beta.quicklisp.org/quicklisp.lisp. Then run the lisp file from clisp with clisp -i quicklisp.lisp. As the instructions say, evaluate (quicklisp-quickstart:install), and then evaluate (ql:add-to-init-file) to load quicklisp along with lisp.

  5. Install Slime. While you have the clisp repl open, evaluate (ql:quickload "quicklisp-slime-helper"). After this runs, you will see some recommendations for what to put into your .emacs file. You don’t need to do this. I did say that Prelude was opinionated, and it’s done this for you. However, it’s not set up for clisp, so instead, add this to your personal/personal.el file: (setq slime-default-lisp 'clisp)

  6. And that should be it. You don’t need to have the clisp repl running in the terminal anymore, and you can delete the quicklisp.lisp file that you downladed, as it’s done it’s job of installation now.

  7. Test the setup from Emacs by running M-x slime-mode and you’ll be taken to the lisp REPL.

Now that’s done you can go on to the hard part of actually learning and using lisp.