Common Lisp Standard Draft

Posted: 2015-10-11. Modified: 2017-04-26. Tags: LISP, programming.

UPDATE 2017-04-26: Updated this page to link to my new and improved version of the ANSI CL standard draft which now includes a pdf sidebar outline.

Below is a link to a build of the publicly available ANSI CL standard draft, which has been somewhat modified to include a pdf sidebar outline. The sidebar makes it much easier to navigate this 1200 page plus document!

ANSI CL standard draft.

If you are curious to see what modifications I had to make to the tex sources to obtain the above pdf, please refer to the gitlab repository hosted here.

1 Backstory

The Official Common Lisp standard ANSI X3.226-1994 (now referred to as ANSI INCITS 226-1994) is available from ANSI for a cost of $60. However, besides the fact that this document is expensive, it is also known that this document is actually a low-quality scan of the original.

Many people apparently use the Common Lisp Hyperspec, but I personally find this document highly confusing and difficult to learn from in any meaningful way. It is from the early days of "hypertext" and employs so many links as to be basically unreadable in my opinion.

An alternative to the above two choices for documentation on the Common Lisp language is the final draft to the ANSI standard. According to Franz Inc the final draft of the ANSI standard differs from the official standard only in "formatting and boilerplate," and the final modifications are said to have "no technical implications". The final draft is licensed for "free use, copying, distribution". Tex sources of the individual chapters of the Common Lisp standard are freely available from CMU. Postscript copies of the individual chapters of the Common Lisp standard are freely available from the late Erik Naggum's website.

2 Archived Downloads and Notes

Note: as of 2017-04-26, I highly recommend the version above. These old revisions are here for historical purposes.

I have prepared two PDFs of the final Common Lisp draft standard for download.

I believe they can be treated as an authoritative resource on Common Lisp for the general user, and as a good alternative to the Common Lisp Hyperspec. Below I explain some of the alternative documentation sources for Common Lisp, and how it came to be that I am hosting a link to this document.

Draft Version A was created by concatenating Erik Naggum's ps files into a single pdf. It has two pages side-by-side at a time, and rather poor fonts in my opinion.

Draft Version B was created by recompiling the original Tex sources. The font quality is much higher, and the resulting document scrolls properly on-screen. Steps to reproduce my work are listed here, so that you can verify that I have not changed anything in the standard.

To access the sources I used to build the draft version B or to see the script I used to do the pdf generation, please see my repository clstandard-build.