From EDM2
Jump to: navigation, search

muLISP is a LISP development system for CP/M that was later ported to the Apple II, TRS-DOS and PC-DOS. It was marketed by Microsoft Corporation from the late 70s up to the late 80s, during the last few years under the name Microsoft LISP. In addition to an interpreter and compiler the system includes an editor with a WordStar-like command set, a symbolic debugger (early versions had a simpler trace-debug package), a collection of libraries, and in later versions a tutorial and example programs. Note that some versions of the package bundled a compiler while others did not.

Around 1990 the company added a protected mode DOS version that ran on 80386 and higher processors called muLISP XM, Common Lisp compatibility (not quite complete) and CLOS, in addition to odds and ends such as a windowing library & manager, but there never was an official port of the package to either OS/2 or MS Windows. As muLISP was used as the basis for a number of scientific software and hardware packages it was sold and supported until about 2005 even though it had seen little or no development since about 1990.


  • muLISP-77 (1977)
Ran on a custom 8080 based computer, not released commercially.
  • muLISP-79 (1979)
Ran on a 8080 based CP/M systems, interpreter only.
  • muLISP-80 (1980)
First release with a pseudo-compiler, came in an 8080 and a faster Z80 version.
  • muLISP-80 AIDS (1980)
Aka muLISP-80 Artificial Intelligence Development System, a bundle of muLISP and muSTAR
  • muLISP-82 (1982)
First release with an IBM PC compatible package.
  • muLISP-80 AIDS v2.15 (1983)
CP/M only release
  • muLISP-83 v4.01 (1983-06-30)
Macros, random file I/O and an interactive tutorial were added
  • muLISP-83 v4.11
Last update in the 4.x branch.
  • muLISP-85 v5.00 (1985)
Twice a many primitives as v4.11 and heaps as big as 512k. First release with Common Lisp compatibility (not full).
  • muLISP-86 v5.10 (1986-01-06)
  • muLISP-87 v6.00 (1987-06-17)
  • muLISP-90 (1990)
Prerequisites (version 4x, 5x)
  • PC or MS DOS 2.0 or higher
  • 128k of memory
  • muMATH - Symbolic mathematics package
Sold as a stand-alone package or as an add-on to muLISP, required muSIMP and usually came bundled with it.
  • muSIMP - Algol like language
An Algol like programming language that ran on top of muLISP.
  • muSTAR
An execution environment containing terminal interfaces and menu system and so on, basically an enhanced editor with some debugging facilities, integrated into later versions of the system and all PC/DOS versions.


Licence and availability

Discontinued commercial software, retail price when new USD 250 for the PC version in 1983~88, USD 400 from 1990 onwards, USD 200 for the muLISP AIDS package for CP/M.

Author & publisher