Contribution Ideas

Some ideas on how contribute to Lisp-Stat


There isn’t a good, maintained wrapper for SQLite that doesn’t have a restricted license. Using CFFI and autowrap, create a lisp interface for SQLite. This will allow us to use sqldf with something other than PostgreSQL.

Special Functions

The functions underlying the statistical distributions require skills in numerical programming. If you like being ‘close to the metal’, this is a good area for contributions. Suitable for medium-advanced level programmers. In particular we need implementations of:

  • gamma
  • incomplete gamma (upper & lower)
  • inverse incomplete gamma

This work is partially complete and makes a good starting point for someone who wants to make a substantial contribution.


Better and more documentation is always welcome, and a great way to learn. Suitable for beginners to Common Lisp or statistics.

Jupyter-Lab Integrations

Jupyter Lab has two nice integrations into Pandas, the Python version of Data-Frame, that would make great contributions: Qgrid, which allows editing a data frame in Jupyter Lab, and Jupyter DataTables. There are many more Pandas/Jupyter integrations, and any of them would be welcome additions to the Lisp-Stat ecosystem.


LISP-STAT has a basic plotting system, but there is always room for improvement. An interactive REPL based plotting system should be possible with a medium amount of effort. Remote-js provides a working example of running JavaScript in a browser from a REPL, and could combined with something like Electron and a DSL for Vega-lite specifications. This may be a 4-6 week project for someone with JavaScript and HTML skills. There are other Plotly/Vega options, so if this interests you, open an issue and we can discuss. I have working examples of much of this, but all fragmented examples. Skills: good web/JavaScript, beginner lisp.


We have some code for ‘quick & dirty’ regressions and need a more robust DSL (Domain Specific Language). As a prototype, the -proto regression objects from XLISP-STAT would be both useful and be a good experiment to see what the final form should take. This is a relatively straightforward port, e.g. defproto -> defclass and defmeth -> defmethod. Skill level: medium in both Lisp and statistics, or willing to learn.

Vector Mathematics

We have code for vectorized versions of all Common Lisp functions, living in the elmt package. It now only works on vectors. Shadowing Common Lisp mathematical operators is possible, and more natural. This task is to make elmt vectorized math functions work on lists as well as vectors, and to implement shadowing of Common Lisp. This task requires at least medium-high level Lisp skills, since you will be working with both packages and shadowing. We also need to run the ANSI Common Lisp conformance tests on the results to ensure nothing gets broken in the process.

Continuous Integration

If you have experience with Github’s CI tools, a CI setup for Lisp-Stat would be a great help. This allows people making pull requests to immediately know if their patches break anything. Beginner level Lisp.