About the Franz online ANS for Common Lisp


The ANSI standard for Common Lisp is very large. Its introduction states it "is a language specification aimed at an audience of implementors and knowledgeable programmers. It is neither a tutorial nor an implementation guide." While the document is considered an excellent language standard, its size (about 1400 pages) and organization place formidable difficulties when researching specific language questions. This search page is a tool that can reliably find all the scattered references to a particular element of the language.


Starting in 1986 the X3J13 technical subcommittee of X3 (since renamed NCITS) drafted a standard for Common Lisp. It was officially adopted by ANSI in 1994 as ANSI X3.226-1994. That document is the definitive standard for Common Lisp and can be ordered from ANSI in paper form ($350).

The ANS is a very large standard, about 1400 pages in printed form. As the technical deliberations of X3J13 were nearing completion, it became apparent to the committee that the editorial task to draft the standard would not be feasible using part-time volunteer effort. An informal industry consortium was formed through which several vendor organizations funded a full-time editor for about a year and a half. The consortium stipulated that drafts produced by that editor were to be made available to X3J13 to submit to ANSI, and also to members of the consortium and any other interested parties.

Three draft proposed American National Standards (dpANS) were subsequently produced. dpANS 1 was a working draft and received extensive review and revision by X3J13. dpANS 2 was then created to resolve all remaining technical issues; X3J13 made no intentional changes in technical content after dpANS 2. dpANS 3 improved wording in a few places and extensively reworked the Credits section, not a normative part of the standard. Further formatting changes and boilerplate additions were executed by ANSI in their process of producing the standard, but these have no technical implications.

The document in these pages is derived from dpANS2. It is a semi-mechanical translation of the original TeX into HTML. While ANSI X3.226-1994 is the definitive, official standard, this HTML version of dpANS2 is believed to be equivalent in all content of technical consequence.

The presentation of the language standard on these pages copyright © Franz Inc.

Comments are welcome: webmaster@franz.com

Copyright © 2023 Franz Inc., All Rights Reserved | Privacy Statement Twitter