CHAPTER 11Collections

Like most programming languages, Common Lisp provides standard data types that collect multiple values into a single object. Every language slices up the collection problem a little bit differently, but the basic collection types usually boil down to an integer-indexed array type and a table type that can be used to map more or less arbitrary keys to values. The former are variously called arrays, lists, or tuples; the latter go by the names hash tables, associative arrays, maps, and dictionaries.

Lisp is, of course, famous for its list data structure, and most Lisp books, following the ontogeny-recapitulates-phylogeny principle of language instruction, start their discussion of Lisp's collections with lists. However, that ...

Get Practical Common Lisp now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.