Lisp in Production

If you're a Lisper, you've probably heard many times that it's not practical to use Lisp in production. Despite the many counter examples (Viaweb, ITA, …) this myth—like the one about Lisp being slow—refuses to die. Vsevolod Dyomkin and Kevin McIntire over at the Grammarly blog are helping to put this myth to rest with a description of how Grammarly uses Lisp in production.

They discuss how they use SBCL in production and CCL for development. This illustrates one of the benefits of having differing Lisp implementations. SBCL has excellent run time performance while CCL has speedy compilation. By using both, Grammarly gets the best of both worlds.

The post is not a fluff piece pushing Lisp, though. They also discuss the problems they encountered and how they solved them. They describe a difficult bug (in the SBCL runtime) and how they used the TRACE facility to track it down.

Finally, they discuss how Slime provides a powerful IDE for developing in Lisp. It's an enjoyable read if you like Lisp and wish you could use it more.

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