Releasing cl-simple-utils 1.0.0 (my first Common Lisp package)

Today I've released my first Common Lisp package: cl-simple-utils, version 1.0.0.

Release notes are in the tag annotation in the repository and in the change log. A readme is also available and required reading before using the software.

The package is currently a collection of primitive utilities, which I need in order to build other stuff.

Release Content

  • A very basic test facility (which will enable me to bootstrap a better one — one needs to have a test facility to be able to test a better test facility …).
  • Text streams that indent output. These will possibly become deprecated or be re-engineered as soon as I've understood the common lisp pretty printer.
  • A WITH-GENSYMS macro that does produce symbols names where you can see the original placeholder variable.

    For example, (GENSYM) produces names like #:G231. In the debugger it is difficult to see where such symbol comes from especially if the compiler inlined aggressively. Most implementations of WITH-GENSYMS follow the same pattern.

    (WITH-GENSYMS (FOO BAR) ...) on the other side produces names like #:G.FOO.242 and binds them to FOO for the execution of the body.

  • A method to write multi-line text blocks and have them indented properly. This is inspired by Python's textwrap.dedent, but instead is computed at compile time, which is, of course, much better.

    For example instead of writing

    (let ((foo 2))
      (let ((expected-text "Aliquam erat volutpat.
    - Nunc eleifend leo vitae magna.
    - In id erat non orci commodo lobortis.
    - Proin neque massa, cursus ut.
        (do-something-with expected-text)))

    it is now possible to write the following:

    (let ((foo 2))
      (let ((expected-text (here-text ()
                              "Aliquam erat volutpat."
                              "- Nunc eleifend leo vitae magna."
                              "- In id erat non orci commodo lobortis."
                              "- Proin neque massa, cursus ut.")))
        (do-something-with expected-text)))

    This is much better — for example in tests, where multi-line text literals are often necessary.

Other Packages

This is not quite the only Common Lisp package I've in the works. The others are not released yet, though. For example current source for cl-simple-test is already available at GitLab and at GitHub, just not released.


  • 2023-02-18 — Layout fixes. Improving one sentence.
  • 2023-03-25 — Migrated to Org Mode based site generator.