Thoughts on AutoLisp?

Steve smorrey at
Thu Feb 15 01:02:36 MST 2007

Hello Everyone,
All the discussion of languages lately got me thinking about the
language I really love to hate.

AutoLisp, it's the user customization language for AutoCAD and I
wouldn't have ever touched it except my wife is an engineer and works
for a place that only uses AutoCAD.

Recently they had a real workflow issue that seemed completely asinine
to me, where they had a 4+ step process to convert a 3d line to a 2d

Ever being the inquisitive programmer, I thought this would be an
excellent project to learn AutoLisp.  Well it turns out someone
already wrote the program years ago, and with a little bit of
updating, my wife now has a little shortcut that makes her a lot more
productive at work.

Her co-workers took note, she shared, and now people are asking for
more "little shortcuts" to make their day quicker/easier.

Problem is I don't know much about AutoLisp or Lisp in general.  I was
lucky enough to stumble on an application previously written, and lo
and behold I understood it.  But there is no way I could code
something like that from scratch (well in Lisp anyways), with my
present knowledge of the language.

There is no pressure yet, but I have a feeling these "little
shortcuts", could become a profitable thing (read that as: I got
bribed with brownies).  But who knows maybe not.

Eitherway I'm now interested in learning Lisp in general but
specifically AutoLisp, and I'ld like a nudge in the right direction,
books, user groups, crash courses etc.  Also if humanly possibly I'ld
like to find an AutoLisp interpreter/compiler/VM whatever that runs in

Thoughts, ideas, suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

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