Why on earth LISP?

If you want to do some easy programming to do smart things with CAD, you need a programming language. So, we've seen them come: VisualBasic and .NET. Then why on earth would we program in LISP? Good question! There are reasons enough not to use it. LISP is old, not from this time and not user friendly. In fact LISP saw the light in 1958, seriously, it is far more than half a century old. It is long time neglected by Autodesk while pushing for more modern stuff. No, just forget LISP. Or...?

Bricsys did a great job reanimating LISP and this is our guess with reasoning:

  • It is platform independent, runs on your Mac and Linux system too, where VB and NET are not an option. And with the choice for MS-Windows not so obviously any more, this is a valid argument.
  • Millions of programs are written in LISP, an investment that is not easy to neglect.
  • People often prefer LISP over the alternatives.
  • LISP does the job, period. It was a logical choice for John Walker (founder AutoCAD). By that time in 1986, LISP was almost three decades old.
  • With an initial steep learning curve, it is still relative easy to master.
  • Another "stayer" is ARX/BRX (C++) and there are good reasons to use it. However, results are often easier, cheaper, to obtain with LISP without compromising speed and quality of operation and LISP is often used to support ARX/BRX.
  • Practically all corporate challenges can be solved with LISP.

This sums up most arguments to get solutions characterized as "save investments". Bricsys understands practically all AutoCAD LISP and does make new functions available.

More can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AutoLISP

From AfraLISP http://www.afralisp.net/visual-basic-for-applications/:

In recent times, VBA has fallen out of favour with Autodesk, who are now promoting the use of more modern development environments with AutoCAD, specifically VB.NET.

This happened around 2010 and it laid a bomb under programming investments done with VBA. Guess what will happen with VB.NET when people favour OS-X for example?

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