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Guidelines for the Standard
To: Christopher Fry <cfry at OZ.AI.MIT.EDU>
Well, we all realize that there are a lot of redundant forms here, and
that we could get away with any of several subsets. ELT would not be
the one I would choose to keep, if I had to choose, but that's not
really the point. The point is that people wanted these kept for
compatibility with older Lisps (and with older Lisp programmers). I
don't think that many people maintaining large bodies of code would
share your enthusiasm for a radical simplification at this point.
I wouldn't mind seeing some style guidelines that point to certain of
these forms as the ones to use in new code, so that in a few years we
can get rid of the ones not in favor, but I don't think that such
guidelines ought to be part of a specification document. Maybe we need
a companion document of style guidelines, though I suspect that getting
people to agree on these would be pretty bloody.