Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Common Lisp + Emacs + SLIME under Windows

Due to reasons relating to my studies, I have to deal with Windows more often now. Crap. But I can still play around with Common Lisp.

Or so I thought at first. I already have Emacs installed, getting the CLISP Common Lisp implementation and SLIME should be easy, right?

How wrong I was.

Nothing seemed to go right. I mean, the downloads went A-OK, and I installed things alright. Tacking it all together ran me into brick walls. Repeatedly. There were always obscure errors about not being able to invoke the Lisp implementation properly. Google, universal as it is, still came up with lots of cruft.

Eventually, I found out from a post online (by Robert Zubek) that spaces in paths caused problems in SLIME. It never really comes up in *nix environments, because nobody's dumb enough to put spaces in any directory names, but SLIME groks paths using 'split-string. This of course means that directory names with spaces will be pulled apart where they aren't meant to.

Solution? Install everything in friggin' C:\. No spaces, no nothing. After the usual setting of paths for SLIME in .emacs, everything works just dandy.

Hacking on Windows: who'dve thunk it?

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