© Gary D. Knott 2017

Gary D. Knott, Interpreting LISP, 10.1007/978-1-4842-2707-7_2

2. The Atom Table and the Number Table

Gary D. Knott

(1)Civilized Software Inc., Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

The LISP Interpreter program maintains several general data structures. The first data structure is a symbol table with an entry for every named data object. These named data objects are called ordinary atoms, and the symbol table of ordinary atoms is called the atom table. (The term atom is historical; that is the term John McCarthy, the designer of LISP [McC60][MIT62], used.) The atom table is conceptually of the following form:


The atom table has n entries, ...

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