CHAPTER 7Macros: Standard ControlConstructs

While many of the ideas that originated in Lisp, from the conditional expression to garbage collection, have been incorporated into other languages, the one language feature that continues to set Common Lisp apart is its macro system. Unfortunately, the word macro describes a lot of things in computing to which Common Lisp's macros bear only a vague and metaphorical similarity. This causes no end of misunderstanding when Lispers try to explain to non-Lispers what a great feature macros are.1 To understand Lisp's macros, you really need to come at them fresh, without preconceptions based on other things that also happen to be called macros. So let's start our discussion of Lisp's macros by taking a ...

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