CDR - Common Lisp Document Repository


The Common Lisp Document Repository is a repository of documents that are of interest to the Common Lisp community. The most important property of a CDR document is that it will never change: if you refer to it, you can be sure that your reference will always refer to exactly the same document.


There have been a number of attempts to establish a standardization process for Common Lisp after it has been officially published as an ANSI standard. The ANSI standardization was very costly and very time consuming (according to it took nearly 10 years and at least $400K).

The goal of the Common Lisp Document Repository is to be more light-weight and more efficient. We focus on one aspect of standardization: the ability to refer to a specification document in an unambiguous way.

The Common Lisp Document Repository intentionally does not define a process for coming up with specifications or any other means to guarantee some level of quality of the submitted documents. Instead, we aim for a community-driven, decentralized approach to come up, discuss and finalize specifications. In this sense, we only provide the services of librarians.

We hope that the Common Lisp Document Repository has the potential to prove useful in establishing new de-facto standards, and to serve as a stepping stone for more formal standardizations in the long run.


The Common Lisp Document Repository is hosted at


The Common Lisp Document Repository is a repository of printable text documents that contain material that are of interest to the Common Lisp community. For example, a CDR document can contain specifications of libraries, language extensions, example implementations, test suites, articles, etc. Each CDR document will be identified by a number. Form and possible contents of CDR documents are not prescribed, but the goal is to provide the Common Lisp community with a way to unambiguously refer to a document by way of mentioning its CDR number. The presence of a document in the CDR repository does not imply a recommendation of any kind, but we leave the acceptance or rejection of particular documents to the community's natural selection process. We expect that some CDR documents will claim to be replacements of, or clarifications for, previous ones, but again such statements do not mean that this repository's goal is to enforce such developments. We are just librarians who want to make it possible to refer and cite documents of interest to Common Lispers.

We use a light-weight process that consists of the following steps:

  1. One or more authors submit a document.
  2. We check that the document is a printable text document, that it is indeed about Common Lisp, and that it does not contain objectionable material (like porn, religious or political statements, etc.).
  3. The document will be immediately assigned a fresh CDR number that can be used to refer to the document. We will make the document available for an initial period, after which it will be frozen and moved into final status, unless the authors decide to withdraw the document during the initial period.

For more details about the process, see the CDR manual.

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Editorial Note: This text is based on the revision of the Common Lisp Document Repository described in CDR 4.

CDR - Common Lisp Document Repository
The CDR Editors
This page last modified: June 19, 2013
CDR repository last modified: August 4, 2013