Linux Common Lisp Quickstart HOWTO

Due to some questions on #lisp, I decided to throw together a quick, step-by-step solution to setting up a basic, but working, Common Lisp installation on Linux. The implementation used will be SBCL

This HOWTO assumes basic linux knowledge as well as knowledge of your distro’s package management system.

  1. Install SBCL from your distro’s repo or download binary build from SBCL website
  2. Install Emacs – I recommend Emacs-22 or 23. Again, for fast install, I recommend going with your distro packages – if you need/want specially patched version, you probably don’t need my hand-holding
  3. Install clbuild
  4. run cd clbuild; ./clbuild check and install any remaining dependencies.
  5. Depending on your distro SBCL packages, install local build of SBCL through ./clbuild compile-implementation sbcl. It will be used by clbuild after that and saved in ./clbuild/target
  6. Install SLIME: ./clbuild install slime
    and configure it by adding result of ./clbuild slime-configuration to your emacs config. I recommend switching slime-autodoc to t
  7. Test it by running emacs and invoking M-x slime
  8. Now go over to Cliki and maybe entertain yourself to Practical Common Lisp

Update:2010-04-10: Fixed links broken by lack of wildcard entry on


Simple manager for Emacs Lisp packages in Gentoo

I don’t know about other people, I found myself pretty much lost in my .emacs file, mainly because of the pretty big list of packages I included in it. Nearly all of them installed through Portage.

Before, I used the site-gentoo.el file, which loaded all of them at startup time. However, that results in a pretty much bloated piece of software.

So today, I decided to try my luck with Emacs Lisp. The result is site-load-manager.el. It’s a simple script that, given a config file, will create a byte-compiled equivalent of Gentoo’s site-gentoo.el that include only those packages whose names include strings defined in the config file. To speed-up things a little, instead of referencing the scripts in site-lisp directory, it includes them directly

The archive contains script, simple shell script to execute it and example config file. I think that it should be pretty easy to understand, although config file mechanism isn’t very good :-)
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Status update

I have been a little quiet lately. This is due to me trying to get Aegisub to work under Linux.

Unfortunately, both libASA and Aegisub proved to have wacky configure scripts. In case of libasa, there’s probably little work regarding NLS. In case of Aegisub…. I think a complete rewrite is the best thing. Preferably without using Autotools. (a.k.a. WTF-IS-THAT-DIRECTORY-STRUCTURE!?)

During that, I had to recompile a big amount of code, thanks to libasa requesting libexpat >=2.0.0 (which after that proved to be fake – it’s required by fontconfig which libasa uses. And which was already installed and working in valid version with the old libexpat -_-“).

Another thing is that I started to translate Sola from Japanese/English to Polish (THX to sola redist. package from Doremi – Thank you guys!). However you could say that this project is mainly to gather know-how and experience in fansubbing — don’t expect me making quick releases…. :>