Last Updated: 5/19/2008
Everyone says “Nobody uses Lisp” and Lispers say “Yes they do, there’s ITA, and, um, Autocad, and, uh, oh yeah, Paul Graham wrote Viaweb in Lisp!” Not very helpful for either side. It’s about time there was a better resource. In true Lispy fashion, I decided to roll my own rather than look for one that someone else did better. I think I can do a pretty good job because I wanted a page like this to put my new startup on once I actually do the development 🙂 Please use the Contact Me page to send me additional companies that you know of. Please include as much as possible about the founders, the role of Lisp, the flavor used, the location, and a blurb about the company. Please let me know if you’d like any of the information to remain off of the list. So here’s my ad-hoc, incomplete list of companies using Lisp or Scheme right now.
- Alphacet, LLC – software tools for analysts, traders, and portfolio managers. Stamford, CT. Includes post-sales work helping clients expand proprietary trading libraries in Lisp.
- Clozure Associates – software development consulting firm specializing in Common Lisp development. Somerville, MA. Sponsors and developers of OpenMCL.
- Eaton Vance – financial services. Boston, MA. Bruce Lewis created BRL (manual as pdf), a dialect of Scheme called “a database-oriented language to embed in HTML and other markup.”
- GrammaTech – Source code analysis tools for C, C++, Ada. Ithaca, NY. Hiring software engineers and interns with experience programming in Scheme, compilers, and static analysis.
- ITA Software – airfare search engine and airline scheduling software. Cambridge, MA. Common Lisp used for basically everything, currently hiring and expanding their business
- OurDoings.com – photo sharing site aimed towards casual photographers. Beverly, MA. Kawa Scheme running on JVM, created by Bruce Lewis
- Tilton Technology – Common Lisp projects like Cells, Celtk, and Cello, and TheoryYAlgebra, a learning game. NYC? Site for Ken Tilton, well known and funny Lisper.
- Paragent.com – Open Source Desktop Management Software. Muncie, IN. Common Lisp (SBCL), article about why they chose Lisp, and about Lisp and Agile Development
- Smart Information Flow Technologies – Contract research house. Minneapolis, MN. Mission objective: “Getting information where it belongs when it’s needed.” Hiring AI professionals to support human control of complex systems. Research areas include: Planning, Plan recognition, Intelligent UserInterfaces, Information Presentation and Management and Computational Etiquette.
SF Bay Area
- Biographicon – “A place for everyone’s biography.” – Wikipedia for people not notable enough to be on Wikipedia. San Francisco, CA. A YCombinator company, started by Ethan Herdrick and Daniel Terhorst. Running Kawa Scheme (also uses PLT Scheme for internal stuff).
- Cadence – software and engineering services for electronic design automation. San Jose, CA (headquarters of worldwide company). Their IC design software uses SKILL (a Franz Lisp variant) as a scripting language.
- GigaMonkeys Consulting – software development and QA consulting. Oakland, CA. Deserves mention because Peter Seibel wrote Practical Common Lisp, claimed by ITA Software as their training manual
- SRI – client-sponsored R&D. Menlo Park, CA. Hiring scientific CL programmers. See also Artificial Intelligence Center. They have lots of Lisp-related links on their site as well.
- StreamFocus – project and action management software. San Francisco, CA. Lisp and CLOS based
- YCombinator – early stage venture investors. Cambridge, MA and Mountain View, CA. Runs Hacker News, built in Arc, and other internal software also written in Arc. Two annual rounds of funding for early stage startups (not Lisp related). Home of Lisp icon Paul Graham.
Northwest States & Vancouver
- adUup – an ad network that favors long-tail publishers. Seattle, WA. Private beta open now, launch expected Summer 2008. Job description includes: Common Lisp backend, SBCL, Hunchentoot. They already have some CL developers.
- Inspiration Software, Inc – educational software, including InspireData, a product for building data literacy. Beaverton, OR. Made in LispWorks.
- Synaptic Mash – educational learning management system. Seattle, WA. Job requirements for server and web developers require experience with “Lisp Family”, SBCL, LispWorks
- Tech Co-op – a not-for-profit, member-owned services co-operative dedicated to providing Technical Services for it’s members. Vancouver, Canada. Lisp for internal development and for members. Offers hosting and hosts many Lisp sites like common-lisp.net, cliki.net, and gigamonkeys.com.
- EnRoute Systems – (formerly Trip Planner) – trip planning solutions including planning engine, web front-end, hosting, and data import/repair. Spokanne, WA. Lots of details on the Technical Info page (including discussion of packages, infrastructure, and algorithms). Made by Jean-Paul Larocque, who has more lisp code on his main site, ThoughtCrime. (news coverage)
- DoneTrading.com – online item trading. Tallahassee, FL. SBCL/Hunchentoot, mention Lisp on their Advantages page
- Impact Solutions “Smart Drilling” – real-time analysis of oil rig drilling data. Houston, TX. Four developers, won the Offshore Technology Conference’s “Spotlight on Technology” award.
- AMARC – organization supporting community radio broadcasting. Montreal, Canada. Job page mentions Scheme, web development, and graphics. Uses a Wiki powered by Gauche
- Carre Technologies – intelligent machines. Montreal, Canada. Main page just lets you send mail, but the site includes a Chicken Scheme extension for Gnu/Octave and a floating point vector and matrix library for Gambit Scheme.
- Categorical Design Solutions – eLearning, Knowledge Management, multimedia content creation technology and dissemination of contents over the Internet. Montreal, Canada. Listed on MSLUG Home Page, can’t find any more details about Lisp or Scheme usage
- Idalia – natural language processing technology. Montreal, Canada. Listed on MSLUG Home Page but all jobs mention C++ and not Lisp
- ISAC Soft – library, learning, and smart card solutions. Montreal, Canada. Listed on MSLUG Home Page, can’t find any more details about Lisp or Scheme usage
- Kronos, Altitude Division – Montreal, Canada. Listed on MSLUG Home Page, can’t find any more details about Lisp or Scheme usage
- MetaScoop – consulting and custom development in Scheme. Montreal, Canada. Developed JazzScheme, recently released as Open Source.
- NuEcho – speech enabled applications. Montreal, Canada. Scheme; Dominique Boucher was the main organizer of the Montreal Scheme/Lisp User Group (MSLUG)
- Silex Creations – multimedia solutions for avant-garde businesses, audio synthesis. Montreal, Canada. Listed on MSLUG Home Page, can’t find any more details about Lisp or Scheme usage
Western US (outside SF Bay)
- Matchcraft – aggregation-based, local Internet advertising – online Yellow Pages. Santa Monica, CA. Previously had a major production system written in Lisp, has several internal tools written in Common Lisp, and is developing new products in Lisp .
- PEPITe – manufacturing intelligence, data mining. Angleur, Liege, Belgium. Their product Pepito was featured in the Franz Success Stories page.
- Mu Aps – Building automatic trading systems. Farum, Denmark. Klaus Habro of Mu Aps wrote the cl-muproc library: Erlang-inspired multi-processing in Common Lisp. Two presentations (both pdf) and a summary. [NOTE: Seems dead – website doesn’t do anything, links to cl-muproc documentation are dead, no activity on mailing list in over a year]
- Steel Bank Studio – SBCL consulting. Helsinki, Finland. One man consulting firm consisting of Nikodemus Siivola, SBCL hacker and co-founder of common-lisp.net.
- CoCreate – 3D CAD modeler for “explicit modeling”. Sindelfingen, Germany. 1M+ lines of Lisp, previously part of HP, paper on Common Lisp as an Embedded Extension Language. Recent blog post about CL use
- Cognesys – “automatic ascertainment and further processing of verbal and text messages” (Natural Language Processing). Ubach-Palenburg, Germany. Looking for experienced and fresh Lisp programmers
- Infometrics – Automatic Functional Sizing. Muiderberg, Netherlands. Analyzes requirements and design documents for business software to make a Function Point Analysis. Sole proprietorship (Ernst van Waning) using Allegro/Lispworks.
- StreamTech – custom web application development, online advertising and profiling products. The Hague, Netherlands. Hiring programming interns. Common Lisp, about 10 hackers
- Netfonds Bank ASA – bank, stock trading. Oslo, Norway. Everything between the web front end and the database is Common Lisp – middleware, trading systems, backoffice support, etc. Cross platform stock trading application. PrimeTrader product is a LispWorks success story.
- Selvaag – home building, real estate management, developing IT tools for industrial housing construction. Oslo, Norway. Developed the BlueThink knowledge management tools for housing construction planning.
- SISCOG – decision-support systems for resource planning and management in transportation companies. Lisboa, Portugal. Allegro CL since version 5 – before that it was Lucid Lisp.
- Anaphoric – natural language interface for relational databases. UmeÃ¥, Sweden. Including Michael Minock of UmeÃ¥ University. Downloadable demo of their CatchPhrase product. 20K lines of Clisp code.
- Noteheads – digital sheet music creation and distribution. Sweden. Mentioned as a successful case study in Successful Lisp, but their website focuses more on their musical pedigree (including having the guy from Roxette on their board)
- Stix.to – shareable notes and messages on any web page. Sweden. Common Lisp, Ties Stuij, an employee, writes the Fallen Frukt blog
- Cleartrip – Indian travel search website. Mumbai, India. “Built almost entirely in ANSI Common Lisp” – data integration, business logic, front end setup. Started with CMUCL but now use ACL. 10 lisp programmers + 5 in training.
- Tachyon Technologies – Quill program for typing in Indian languages, and Cspace, an open source p2p communication platform. Bangalore/Chennai, India. Jobs page mentions Common Lisp, Scheme, Lisp Interpreter, Optimizing Compiler, Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning. Job page includes coding puzzles!
- Mathematical Systems, Inc – scientific software, computer science, internet solutions, social systems. Tokyo, Japan. Their Car Crash Database System (using Allegro) lets engineers browse over 1TB of numerical, photo, and video data about car crashes to design safer cars (used by Honda). If you know Japanese, they have a page called “Why Common Lisp?” (translation appreciated).
- Memetrics (now part of Accenture) – testing and optimization for digital marketers. Sydney. Includes Alain Picard, frequent poster to Lisp forums. A LispWorks success story. Their XOS Software platform automated marketing tests, making it cheaper and easier to run more tests.
Virtual or Unsure of Location
- Raytheon SigLab – a signal processing analysis pipeline for developing algorithms. A LispWorks success story.
- Untyped – web applications, custom software development, training. Virtual Office (5 people). PLT Scheme, very good blog
- LilyPond – open source music engraving software. Uses Guile Scheme and has a great essay about the hard problem of making printed music look good.
- Hacker News users Shooter, Zak, joshwa, vikram, ias, chris_l, gibsonf1 (cool comment), phony_identity, herdrick, watmough (describes setup), Hexstream (insight), gruseom (?) and brlewis have all at times mentioned Lisp or Scheme startups
- Other resources (I’ll wade through them when I get a chance, but I prefer reader submissions)
- Hacker News suggestions at http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=91576
- pg’s Lisp Links: Applications
- ALU Wiki – Industry applications
- LispJobs archives
An anonymous poster recommended Jane Street Capital because their job page mentioned familiarity with functional programming languages (including Lisp/Scheme), but Jane Street is well known for using OCaml, not Lisp. They just realize that it’s worth the effort to teach a Lisp programmer OCaml! This is a hand-edited static page for now. If I get a good response and lots of entries, I might make it a dynamic, searchable site. I decided to organize it geographically, but let me know if another order would be better. Please comment or send me an email!