Public Thanks for the Movies
I want to publicly thank Marco Baringer and Rainer Joswig for the recent movies they've provided lately. I think they're great demos for someone starting out or for showing someone interested in Common Lisp.
I had a non-Lisper watch Rainer's movie on DSL creation and he certainly came away pretty impressed by how fast and easy it was to do what Rainer demonstrated.
I really want to thank Marco for providing such a full-featured demonstration of SLIME. A lot of people starting out in Lisp don't quite get how to manage the minute-by-minute development tasks of editing code, debugging it, looking up documentation, etc. Especially debugging. I remember when I started out in Lisp a long time ago, it was really hard for me to wrap my head around what the debugger was really trying to tell me and how to effectively use it. Marco does a great job of showing how to use the SLIME debugger.
I think that just about everyone can learn something about SLIME that they weren't aware of. Even though I was aware of them, I came away with a better awareness of the cross referencing tools, as I never really bothered to learn how they work.
Once of the interesting things that Marco shows is his use of structured editing, that is, '(' creating balanced parens and ')' moving past the closing paren. He discusses this in his Editing Lisp Code in Emacs page on CLiki (which is a very helpful guide if you haven't read it yet) and I remember trying those before and not really being happy about how it worked, but seeing how it worked in the video, I'm going to try them again.