What is the difference between a stock-hardware and a micro-coded machine in "A Critique of Common Lisp"? started out ranty, and people got carried away in the comments, but the underlying question is a good one. It's interesting, it's relevant, and deserves an answer. Could someone please clean up the comments and give it another shot? I have an unambiguous and clear answer ready to go.

I understand rants make people not want to help. That's what the edit button is for, not the close button.

  • 3
    Pro-tip: Don't start your questions with a rant in the first place, and you'll get much better results. Commented Apr 2, 2013 at 21:14
  • As an aside, comments cleaned up. If I missed anything, flag.
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 5:30
  • 1
    Related: meta.superuser.com/questions/4545/…
    – bwDraco
    Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 3:34

2 Answers 2


OK. With three reopen votes I've added mine to reopen the question.

Let's see how it fares in it's current incarnation.


What is the problem the question is asking about?

I have no issue with gaining general knowledge of programming history (and if it is a history question, please remember to tag it as such - the answer for 1984 is different than the answer three decades later). It should be answered in that context if it is a history question. "Vaxes, MC68000’s, or any truly ‘stock’ hardware." as opposed to that of a lisp machine. Likely the best answer to the current incarnation is explaining how the lisp machine was made and how that differs from everything else. I don't know if anyone is going to try to make a hardware lisp machine today (or ever again).

If there is another question that is hiding behind this one - for example asking about the critique of LISP and if it is still a valid critique in today's computing world is one that is likely more relevant and much more interesting to the people reading and answering it.

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