Development, building, testing, and documentation aids.

Editor/IDE support

  • Emacs
    • SLIME is the Superior Lisp Interaction Mode, Extended
  • vi/vim
    • Slimv provides SLIME-like Lisp and Clojure REPL inside Vim with profiling, Hyperspec lookup, Paredit-like structured editing
    • Nekthuth is a vim plugin and CL library which gives vim users some interactive Lisp development/IDE features akin to SLIME
    • VIlisp, an (inferior) inferior lisp mode for vim.
    • Limp, another (slightly less inferior) inferior lisp mode for Vim.
    • Using vi with Lisp
  • Eclipse
    • Cusp An Eclipse plugin that comes out of the box with SBCL and Swank for Windows, Linux, and OSX
    • Dandelion Another Eclipse plugin, currently available with CLISP (for WinXP, MacosX, Linux). It supports the developer with syntax analyses as you type (limited), syntax highlighting, code completion, parenthesis matching, apropos and a listener.
    • lispdev is a fork of Cusp
  • Other
    • MCLIDE is an open source Mac OS X IDE for Lisp implementations using the SWANK protocol of SLIME. It supports Common Lisp, Clojure, and Scheme.
    • Climacs is an Emacs-like text editor written in Common Lisp using McCLIM.
    • Hemlock is an Emacs-like editor written in CL not using CLIM.
    • Able a IDE written in CL itself, for Mac/Windows/Linux, also with interaction mode.
    • LispIDE is a basic editor for several Lisp and Scheme implementations available for Windows.
Build/make tools (main topic: build) see also: tools to Obtain libraries.
  • asdf - ASDF (Another System Definition Facility) is an extensible build facility for Common Lisp software
  • ASDlite - ASDlite is a light-weight version of ASDF, a popular build facility for Common Lisp
  • evol - evol - entrenched virtues of lisp (love reversed) aims to be a compatible and full-fledged replacement for the GNU autotools stack targeted at coping with the autotools' shortcomings while not repeating the mistakes made and still being made at comparable build tool projects
  • faslpath - Faslpath is a build tool that relies on package naming conventions to automatically resolve dependencies between files, eliminating the need to have a separate system definition/make file
  • mk-defsystem - MK-defsystem is a system definition and build utility; it fills a similar role for CL as make(1) does for C
  • poiu - poiu is an asdf extension that builds in parallel
  • XCVB - XCVB, an eXtensible Component Verifier and Builder for Lisp is an attempt to replace asdf
Deployment (main topic: deployment)
  • cl-daemonize - cl-daemonize is a tool to daemonize a Lisp process without the need for screen/detachtty
  • cl-launch - cl-launch is a unix utility to make your Lisp software easily invokable from the shell command-line
  • Creating Executables - Most Common Lisp implementations support creating native-format executable files
  • lispx-proxy - lispx-proxy (Lisp Execution Proxy) is a Lisp application launcher for Windows (A *nix port with limited functionality is also available)
  • Unix shell scripting - This is a guide for writing Unix shell scripts in various Common Lisp implementations
Testing (main topic: test framework) Logging (main topic: logging)
  • cl-growl - Growl is a notification/logging system for Mac OS X
  • cl-log - cl-log is a highly configurable logging library
  • cl-syslog - Common Lisp interface to local and remote Syslog facilities
  • hu.dwim.logger - hu,dwim,logger is a logging library
  • Log4CL - Log4CL is high performance extensible logging library for Common Lisp
  • log5 - Log5 is a logging library organized around five things: categories, outputs, senders, messages and contexts
  • logv - Logv is a logging library for Common Lisp
Documentation (main topic: documentation tool)
  • Albert - Albert is a Common Lisp doc-generator, comparable to Javadoc and Doxygen
  • atdoc - Atdoc generates documentation for Common Lisp packages
  • CL-API - CL-API is a documentation tool that generates an API in HTML format, given a package name and reading docstrings
  • clod - CLOD is a Common Lisp doc-generator, similar to Albert, Cldoc and so on
  • Declt - Declt (pronounce "dec'let") is a reference manual generator for
  • documentation-template - documentation-template is a documentation tool that automatically produces HTML documentation from the exported symbols of a package
  • hyperdoc - Hyperdoc means mapping symbols to documentation URIs for libraries as well
  • hyperspec-lookup - hyperspec-lookup is an ANSI Common Lisp documentation tool that gives the user an interface to mapping symbols to URLs for the Common Lisp Hyperspec and Common Lisp Object System (CLOS) MetaObject Protocol
  • LispDoc - LispDoc is a documentation tool (probably somewhat OpenMCL specific) that automatically generates HTML documentation for all symbols exported from one or more packages from their documentation strings
  • manifest - Manifest is a documentation tool for semi-automatically documenting Common Lisp packages as a set of web pages, using the toot web server
  • qbook - qbook generates HTML (or LaTeX) formatted code listings of Common
  • sb-texinfo - Web site:
  • tinaa - Gary King is barely maintaining this package
Version control software: (main topic: version control) Literate programming systems: (main topic: literate programming)
  • cl-org-mode has a tangle feature to do literate programming in org-mode.
  • CLWeb A literate programming system for Common Lisp.

  • Redshank refactoring and editing extensions to SLIME.
  • slime-lispunit for more convenient TDD with SLIME (see also this post).
  • Matthias Holzl's Design by Contract package.
  • TU a hack for reading the translation unit dumps from GCC.
  • cl-heredoc - Common Lisp reader heredoc dispatcher, very useful for testing parsers
  • Step is a portable code single-stepper and debugger.
  • METERING is a portable code profiling tool, for gathering timing and consing statistics while a program is running.
  • Benchmarks: Benchmarking Suites can be used to compare different implementations.