Bomb me—please!

I wrote Practical Common Lisp because I felt that Common Lisp needed a new introductory book that could ease folks raised on other languages into Common Lisp and then show them what it’s really all about. Based on emails from readers, reviews on Amazon, word of mouth in the Lisp world, and the fact that the online version of PCL is the top hit when you Google for “lisp book”, I’ll say I succeeded tolerably well. So imagine my dismay when someone pointed out to me today the Google results for “lisp tutorial”.

The top hit is a page which apparently hasn’t been updated since around 1999 and isn’t really a tutorial anyway, so much as a large list of links including a link to the Hyperspec when it was hosted at The next few “lisp tutorial” hits are — with all due respect — exactly the sort of dated, dry tutorials that inspired me to write Practical Common Lisp in the first place and to do a deal with Apress to allow me to keep it online even after the dead tree version was published. Practical Common Lisp doesn’t appear anywhere, as far as I can tell, in the results for “lisp tutorial”.

With that in mind I did a small bit of search engine optimization today to make sure that the phrase “Common Lisp tutorial” appears on the main page of the Practical Common Lisp web site. If you also think Lisp might be better served if PCL was at least one of the results returned to a would-be Lisper searching for a Lisp tutorial you can help out: if you have a web page where it would be reasonable to do so, consider linking to the url with a link text of “lisp tutorial” or “common lisp tutorial”. Yes, I’m asking you to participate in a Google bombing. But it’s for a good cause. Think of the children.

Update: Based on the first couple folks I’ve seen providing links to the PCL website (thanks, guys!) I must not have made myself quite clear enough. The name of the game in a Google bombing is for everyone to use the same text for the link. If you want to play along, your HTML should look like this:

<a href="">Common Lisp tutorial</a>


<a href="">Lisp tutorial</a>

1. Harelequin doesn’t exist anymore. The canonical home of the Hyperspec is at Lispworks which is now two spin-offs removed from Harlequin: Global Graphics bought Harlequin and spun off Xanalys which in turn, in 2005, spun off Lispworks.


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