Star Sapphire Common LISP 3.4

Product Description

From: Sapiens Software Corporation,
P.O. Box 7429
Santa Cruz, CA 95061-7429 USA
Email to:

Star Sapphire Common LISP 3.4 provides a full-featured yet low cost environment for writing, debugging and running Common LISP programs on the PC. The product represents over twenty programmer years of effort and was under development from 1984 until 1995. Star Sapphire Common LISP is suitable for student, home and business users alike.

SSCL was released as copyrighted unsupported shareware on October 31, 2000.

Common LISP implementation

Implements most of the features of Common LISP, the language, by Guy Steele, first edition, and includes the Common LISP Object System (CLOS). The 3.4 version has been revised for conformance with the proposed ANSI Common LISP. The implementation includes all standard Common LISP features including lexical and dynamic scoping, bignums, hash tables, multi-dimensional arrays, defsetf, bit vectors, closures, lambda list keywords, defmacro, defstruct, multiple return values, generalized sequences, a sort routine, complex numbers, ratios, bignums and so on. The implementation has been extensively cross-checked and validated from results generated on other LISP implementations.

Memory Management

Uses disk space or extended memory to store workspaces of up to 8Mb. Workspace is configurable at startup using command line flags. Uses mark and sweep method for garbage collection. Virtual and extended memory management is transparent to the programmer and has been optimized for the PC.

LISP environment

The interpreter incrementally compiles Common LISP and evaluates the result; able to produce and load fastload files from LISP source files via 'compile-file'. Interpreter implements command line history retrieval using arrow keys and blinks matching parenthesis. Screen colors are configurable and 43/50 row mode is supported on EGA/VGA both in the interpreter and editor. Keys in interpreter can be mapped to arbitrary LISP commands.

EMACS editor

Embedded and standalone versions provided; MicroEmacs derivative with LISP adaptations (key chords, autoindent, parenthesis matching). Editor allows multiple buffer windows, has on-line help, popup directory file chooser, access to LISP help files and an easy-to-use utility for reconfiguring keystrokes.


access to over 900Kb of language reference files via a point and shoot hypertext engine which is coresident with the interpreter and EMACS. The hypertext is completely cross-referenced and allows access to every instance of all indexed strings. The help system uses either the mouse or the keyboard to produce instant access to any topic about Common LISP or Star Sapphire LISP. Included is a short introductory tutorial to Common LISP. A quick help facility is also included. Printed documentation includes a users manual and a quick reference in a compact format.

Source code examples

Includes visual "Towers of Hanoi" solver, and source code for a detailed implementation of the "Colossal Cave Adventure" (about 1200 lines of LISP), which illustrates database management and command parsing in LISP.

PC functions

Includes graphics interface for VGA, EGA, CGA and Hercules to draw points, lines, circles, triangles, and perform fill. A mouse driven text screen design utility, as well as a popup directory selection tool, file browser and data entry facility are included. Text functions allow cursor motion and direct screen access. Includes peek and poke functions, and functions for sound, interrupt, port and mouse access. Run DOS commands via the shell escape #! or the 'OS' function.

Debugging environment

Includes a command driven debugger which can be toggled on or off and activated using the 'break' function. Includes describe, step, apropos, trace, time, backtracing, and all other standard Common LISP debugging functions.


A PC compatible running DOS with at least 640Kb and a hard disk. Optionally supports up to 8Mb of extended memory, a Microsoft compatible mouse, and graphics output to many standard graphics adaptors (see PC functions above). Can run on any 80x86 based system including 8086 through Pentium. A 16Mhz 386 PC or faster with 4Mb memory is recommended but not required. Star Sapphire LISP and EMACS can run in a DOS window under Windows 3.1 or Windows 95.

Copyright © 1984-2002 Sapiens Software Corporation, All Rights Reserved.