Jeff Dalton

Personal information

Scotland (UK)


I wrote my first programming language implementation -- a Lisp interpreter in Basic -- some time during the 70s.

At Dartmouth College, where I was a maths student, I worked on a variety of different language implementations (written in assembler) including the Lisp system. (They were part of the Dartmouth Time-Sharing System, DTSS.)

I worked briefly at Milton Bradley on video games. During some of my lunch hours, I wrote a Scheme interpreter in Pascal.

In 1983, I went to the University of Edinburgh to port Franz Lisp to the Perq. (Perqs microcoded by ICL to be C machines -- not the setup used at CMU.) I've been in Edinburgh ever since.

The Franz port included developing a version of the compiler that compiled to C; and that allowed me to port it to 386 machines once 386BSD and related operating systems became available.

While at the University of Edinburgh, I ported KCL to a couple of different machines and got involved in Lisp standardisation. I was a member of X3J13 (the technical committee that developed the Common Lisp standard), the EuLisp group, the ISO technical committee (WG-16) and the BSI (UK) committee.

Most of my recent work has been in Java.

Programming languages (of course), especially Lisp-related ones.
Turtle graphics.
Mathematical logic.
Science and philosophy of consciousness.
French New Wave film.
70s New Wave rock and pop music.


5 years 28 weeks