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Function Cell Follow-up
I found the discussion of rationales for function cells interesting.
The idea that different kinds of things should be allowed to have
separate name spaces seemed to be the strongest reason for function
cells, aside from compatibility.
Unfortunately, no one addressed my last two questions, which had to
do with implementing functions and values in terms of each other.
Perhaps I should point out some motivation. Today, it looks as if
Common Lisp and Scheme (in various dialects) are emerging as the two
chief alternatives in the Lisp world (sort of like Interlisp and
Maclisp once upon a time?). Those who discount Scheme as a competitor
should be aware that there are some very good Scheme implementations
out there now, and that it has a body of supporters many of whom are in
influential positions, i.e. as instructors in classes. At Utah for
instance, undergraduates get several courses using Scheme long before
they see Lisp, and many other places are similar. Consider another
"instructional" language - Pascal - and think about how many Pascal
programs have been inflicted on the world...
Anyway, despite appearances :-), I'm more of an ideologist than an
ideologue, and so I'm interested in just how incompatible Common Lisp
and Scheme *really* are, and how difficult it would be to implement
one in the other. It's certainly possible, but since I haven't actually
tried hacking all this out, I'm not clear on the pitfalls.