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question about pprint, *print-pretty*

In Common Lisp, both print and pprint are defined to print out a newline
*before* the form rather than after.  This is backwards from PSL, where
the prettyprinter indents things relative to the "current" character
position on the output stream, and prints a newline afterwards.  Is there
a portable way I can get the same kind of relative indentation in Common
Lisp?  Exactly what turning on *print-pretty* does is left rather vague --
the manual just says the printer should insert more whitespace.  Is there
some overwhelming reason why these functions were defined "backwards" in
the first place that I've missed?