Online / 5 & 6 February 2022


Portable Parens: Graphical Lisp programs for mobile devices

Techniques for building responsive, touch-friendly GUI applications with functional programming paradigms

Lisp, the second-oldest programming language, has led the way in advanced programming techniques through decades of variants and dialects. This talk will show how Lisp is relevant even in the burgeoning field of mobile Linux distributions, covering four distinct techniques for writing touch-friendly, responsive GUI applications in various Lisp implementations:

  • Embedding
  • Transpilation
  • Foreign function interfaces
  • Networked microservicing

With fully open source examples for each of the methods, written in Lisp dialects including Clojure, Scheme and Fennel, this talk will weigh up the pros and cons of the different techniques with regard to reliability, performance and long-term sustainability in the software supply chain.

Finally, the talk will conclude with a proof-of-concept for a declarative graphical application with GTK4, showcasing the advanced functional programming features offered by Lisp, and demonstrated on a physical PinePhone device running PostmarketOS!


Photo of Sebastian Crane Sebastian Crane