# ANSI Common Lisp

1. Evaluation rule

In Lisp, + is a function, and an expression like (+ 2 3) is a function call. When Lisp evaluates a function call, it does so in two steps:

1. First the arguments are evaluated, from left to right. In this case, each argument evaluates to itself, so the values of the arguments are 2 and 3, respectively.

2. The values of the arguments are passed to the function named by the operator. In this case, it is the + function, which returns 5.

Lisp 不会 evaluate 一个 list 的第一个元素 (operator), 然后根据返回的值来进行函数调用.

所以下面这段代码是非法的:

 (setq lst '(+))
((car lst) 2 3)

2. function (Special Operator)

 (function name)


Returns the function whose name is name, which can be either a symbol, a list of the form (setf f) , or a lambda expression. If f is a built-in operator, it is implementation-dependent whether or not there is a function called (setf f) .

因为 function 是一个 Special Operator 所以 name 不会被 evaluate. #’ (sharp-quote) 是它的缩写, 就像 (quote) 是 quote 的缩写一样.

3. apply (Function)

 (apply function &rest args)


Calls function on args, of which there must be at least one. The last arg must be a list. The arguments to the function consist of each arg up to the last, plus each element of the last; that is, the argument list is composed as if by list*. The function can also be a symbol, in which case its global function definition is used.

apply 的第一个参数不一定是一个 function object, 也可以是一个 symbol, 所以下面这两个表达式都是正确的:

 (apply #'+ 2 3)
(apply '+ 2 3)


funcall 也可以传一个 function object 或者是一个 symbol.

4. let (Special Operator)

 (let ({symbol | {(symbol [value])}*)
declaration* expression*)


Evaluates its body with each symbol bound to the value of the corresponding value expression, or nil if no value is given.

let 第一个参数是一个 list, 里面的元素可以是 symbol, 也可以是形如 (symbol [value]) 的 list.

5. case (Macro)

 (case object (key expression*)*
[({t | otherwise} expression*)])


Evaluates object, then looks at the remaining clauses in order; if the object is eql to or a member of the key (not evaluated) of some clause, or the clause begins with t or otherwise, then evaluates the following expressions and returns the value(s) of the last. Returns nil if no key matches, or the matching key has no expressions. The symbols t and otherwise may not appear as keys, but you can get the same effect by using (t) and (otherwise).

如果 keynil, 那么这个 clause 里的 expressions 永远都不会被执行, 即使你的 object 的值是 nil. 类似于 (t)(otherwise), 我们可以用 (nil) 来消除二义性.

这里的二义是指, 如果 keynil, totherwise 中的一个的时候, 那么究竟是表示它的特殊含义, 还是表示 object 的值等于它的时候就执行后面的 expressions 呢?

下面这个例子可以很好的说明问题:

 (case nil
(nil nil)
(t t)

(case nil
((nil) nil)
(t t))


第一个表达式的值是 t, 而第二个表达式的值是 nil.

6. Vertical bar

There is a special syntax for referring to symbols whose names contain whitespace or other things that might otherwise be significant to the reader. Any sequence of characters between vertical bars is treated as a symbol.

 > (list '|Lisp 1.5| '|| '|abc| '|ABC|)
(|Lisp 1.5| || |abc| ABC)


Remember that the vertical bars are a special syntax for denoting symbols. They are not part of the symbol’s name:

 > (symbol-name '|a b c|)
"a b c"


(If you want to use a vertical bar in the name of a symbol, you can do it by putting a backslash before the bar.)