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#43 The Lisp Programming Language

The Second Oldest Programming Language That's Still Used

Lisp is the second oldest programming language still in wide use. Designed by John McCarthy in 1958, it introduced several new ideas to the field of programming languages, including but not limited to homoiconicity (code is data), the centrality of the list data structure, and automatic memory management. However, its parentheses heavy syntax and use of prefix notation have proved controversial amongst some programmers. For many decades it was the mainstay of AI research, and it even had entire hardware platforms designed around its efficient execution. Today, Lisp's legacy lives on through its influence on other languages and its modern dialects like Scheme and Clojure.

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