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Well, I certainly want to thank everyone for taking the time to read
my message and give it some thought.  I can tell that it's going to
be refreshing to work on Common Lisp in an environment where a variety of
people openly discuss the issues (I am just about to join the AI 
group at Digital).

It is clear now that I was coming from a different direction.  I tend
to implement a simple internal error reporting facility for an
application, and then spend most of my time on the user interface.
Thus my reaction to the functions was slanted in the direction of the
user.  The functions are quite good for internal error reporting, and
it's great that developers won't have to reinvent them every time.

I do suggest that we take Dave Moon up on his willingness to change the
definition of check-type and assert so that they can evaluate their
message strings.  We've had some success at Digital with message file
translation, so we might want to do that with Lisp applications.  One
can still put the messages in the source; a fancy macro can do the
dirty work.

I also suggest that we think a little about how declarations interact
with the key forms of these functions.

Any day now we'll get our Lisp Machine.  Thanks again.

- Paul C. Anagnostopoulos