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Date: Sat, 12 Nov 83 16:24 EST
From: David A. Moon <Moon at SCRC-TENEX>
Re: :otherwise in selectq
References: Msg of 11 Nov 83 14:41-EST from David Chapman <Zvona at MIT-OZ>
I'm not sure why Kent redistributed the enclosed message, since
several people had already replied to it pointing out the
nonsensicalness of the third paragraph,
Sorry, I hadn't forwarded it for that part, which I agree was not realistic.
and I (and maybe others?) had already replied to it explaining
that magic syntactic words in special forms, such as OTHERWISE,
are treated like function names rather than as keywords.
As you probably know from previous discussions, I disagree with the
decision that was made on OTHERWISE vs :OTHERWISE. Since we're not in a
position to consider changing this, it would be pointless to try to
reopen that discussion here and now.
Nevertheless, it's hard to do language design in a vacuum. It is
important, for example, to follow up on decisions you've made by seeing
whether your guesses about things like users' intuitions were correct.
It might not even affect the current language, but you might some day
design another. By the way, in spite of the explicit CC to me, I didn't
put Zvona up to this bug report. Anyway, I did find the note interesting,
and thought others on CL might also. Especially since it's only in the
first few days that a Common Lisp compatible package system available
here that people are starting to evolve strong feelings about these
Perhaps in a few years when it's time to contemplate major evolutionary
changes to Common Lisp, there will be a place for a little rabble rousing.
For now, that's not what I'd intended; just wanted to quietly pass on
what I saw as an interesting data point.
In the future I'll try to remember to mark such messages with an "FYI"
in the subject line or some such so it doesn't look so much like people
should want to reply to them.