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- To: common-lisp at SU-AI, dill at CMU-20C
- From: Richard M. Stallman <RMS at MIT-AI>
- Date: Wed, 03 Feb 1982 05:06:00 -0000
The reason it is important to be compatible pretty much
with Maclisp is that that means being compatible with the
existing Lisp machine system, and that is very important
to all the Lisp machine users. And to Lisp machine
system maintainers too. It is fine if old Maclisp functions
get dropped from the definition of Common Lisp, and replaced
with cleaner ways of doing things: the Lisp machine can implement
the new way while continuing to support the old one, Common Lisp or no.
But making old Maclisp functions do new things that are fundamentally
incompatible will cause a great deal of trouble.
The purpose of the Common Lisp project was to unify Maclisp dialects.
The narrowness of the purpose is all that gives it a chance of success.
It may be an interesting project to design a totally new Lisp dialect,
but you have no chance of getting this many people to agree on a design
if you remove the constraints.