ABCL Testimonials


Alessio Stalla - November, 2010
With my Java background and my love for Lisp, I've found ABCL to be the ideal choice for my open source projects, in particular:
  • DynaSpring (, a Lisp-based DSL for the Spring framework: it replaces the ugly-ugly XML with our beloved parentheses, bringing new features to Spring (conditional evaluation, modularity constructs, etc.) and making it much more user-extensible;
  • Snow (, a declarative GUI language in the vein of XUL, but obviously Lisp-based, targeting Swing. While still lacking many things, it combines a Lisp DSL with existing Java libraries to concisely describe the structure and layout of the GUI, and to make it easy to connect the UI with the application, thanks to its integration with Cells;
  • and all the other experimental, unreleased stuff I do as a hobby (mainly related to web development and enterprise application development).
For me ABCL's selling point is of course its interoperability with Java and the consequent access to Java libraries, but I also appreciate its simplicity, portability (even FASLs are cross-platform, thanks to the JVM), and last but not least, the small but vibrant and helpful community.
David Kirkman (Astronomer at University of California, San Diego) - June 7, 2010
"I've been using ABCL to help position the Keck telescope on targets that are too faint to see with the slit guider. I used code I created in 1994 - in Lisp - for the exact calculations and combined it with Java libraries for getting images in and displaying things. The Lisp code ran unmodified. And what's more: I can run it all on my Windows laptop!

The original project went so well that I stared to do new work in Lisp again."
Brad Garton (Columbia University Computer Music Center)
"I used ABCL (older, v. 0.0.10) as the interpreter underlying an object for a music/media graphical programming environment called Max/MSP. ABCL allowed me to embed an entire LISP interpreter inside the Max/MSP package, and it has worked extremely well. Max/MSP is designed primarily for real-time/interactive applications, used a lot by computer music academics, DJs/VJs, bizarro jazz performers, audio plugin developers, etc. With the embedded abcl object, I am able to schedule LISP functions and work interactively with complex processes -- the abcl interpreter has been rock-solid!

The source for the object is here (scroll down to the bottom of the page):

And I also used it extensively in a large application built with Max/MSP... it's an interactive 'book' where the generative music follows what a reader is reading and creates an appropriate sound setting for the text:

The music performance model underlying the shawm-like melodies is all coded using abcl.

So to all of you who have contributed (and still contribute!) to the development of this terrific package, a big THANK YOU!!!"
Hunter Monroe
"Maxima algebraic computation software compiles with ABCL. The test suite runs fairly quickly on Windows XP and, after work by Robert Dodier, 86 percent of the test suite is passed successfully, although some individual tests crash the suite. If you want to compile Maxima with ABCL lisp, check out the Maxima source code and following the instructions in INSTALL.lisp." Editor's note: the Maxima test suite runs without crashes and succesfully completes without failures as of 10-11-2010.
Ted Kosan
I am in the process of integrating ABCL with MathRider in preparation for when Maxima is able to run on it.