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upward compatibility

I agree with RMS (for once).  Common Lisp should be made a good language,
but designing "pie in the sky" will simply result in there never being
a Common Lisp.  This is not a case of the Lisp Machine people being
recalcitrant and attempting to impose their own view of the world, but
simply that there is no chance of this large a group agreeing on anything
if there are no constraints.  I think the Lisp Machine people have already
shown far more tolerance and willingness to compromise than anyone would ever
have the right to expect.