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Re: [Chicken-users] German Lisp Workshop at the CCC in Cologne

From: Moritz Heidkamp
Subject: Re: [Chicken-users] German Lisp Workshop at the CCC in Cologne
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2011 18:57:09 +0100

Dear Chickeneers,

with the workshop having been yesterday I thought I'd report back on how
it went. First of all I'd like to thank the CCC Cologne for providing
the space and equipment for the workshop, it's always nice to be a guest
in your rooms. Also thanks to all participants for attending despite the
very nice weather -- I was a bit afraid that I'd spend the afternoon
with only one or two people but after all about 15 showed up which was
even more than I expected!

I started the meeting by giving an introductionary talk about Lisp and
its history which took about an hour (the slides are available at Afterwards I
encouraged everyone to try for themselves what was heard before. Most
people chose Chicken as their Lisp since that was what I presented and I
could offer the most substantial help for, of course :-) This mostly
went very well and I could resolve most issues that arose (we even
managed to get Chicken running on a Windows 7 machine with the help of
the excellent chicken-iup installer). A few people were inclined to give
Emacs a try after I quickly demonstrated how paredit and SLIME
integration really help writing parenthesized code. One thing almost
every participant wondered about was that csi didn't provide readline
support out of the box. Installing and configuring the readline egg is
easy (although we had serious trouble to install libreadline on one of
the OS X machines, evantually gave up and just went with the linenoise
egg) but it seems to be considered common-place and in fact most other
interactive interpreters come with some readline-like support by
default. Maybe it's worth investigating what could be done about that at
the Chicken Weekend!

After a while everyone was up and running and started hacking away:
familiarizing themselves with the syntax, trying to port some code they
had written in other languages, solving Project Euler problems etc. The
test egg was enjoyed by a few attendees and some even gave coops a spin
(I pointed them to Christian's excellent introductionary article about
it at which did
quite a good job of explaining the basic concepts). I had the general
impression that most people really tried to understand what I was trying
to present at the beginning - what is so special about Lisp and why it
is so much fun to program. After 5 hours of hacking and some intensive
discussion I was pretty exhausted; but seeing that it seemed to have
caught on for at least some participants more than made up for it :-)

Some people approached me to institute some kind of Lisp user group for
meeting regularly which I am seriously considering. More on that soon!
Also, I got invited to hold the workshop again at the CCC FFM
( in the near future. I'll let you know if and
when. Thanks for the invitation!

Also, if anyone would like to do something like this in their area, feel
free to contact me about it and/or re-use my presentation material!

All the best

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