Common Lisp is an oddity. It feels brutalist; a false, efficient, anddemocratic - even communist - vision of the future; a 60's theory thatwas never quite disproved, but also never quite succeeded, present as astory of computer science past, of McCarthy and Artificial Intelligence,of the optimism of the early computer age.
The language lacks facilities that are common or easy in other systems.Robust package management, typechecking in most forms, and modernnetwork connectivity tools are lacking. Abstraction and datarepresentation, however - through the incredibly expressive macro andclass systems - are more powerful than most languages today.
There are new alternatives - Clojure, Scheme implementations, and Racketeach incorporate ideas derivative of Lisp's REPL, parameters, patternmatching, and macro expansion capabilities - but new communities arefragmented, iterated upon, nad constantly in flux. Common Lisp is afuture that was never quite realized, and its ANSI standard means thelanguages is fixed to be explored - forever.