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No PRINT-time case conversion switch please!
- To: Kent M. Pitman <KMP at MIT-MC>
- Subject: No PRINT-time case conversion switch please!
- From: Scott E. Fahlman <Fahlman at Cmu-20c>
- Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1982 17:17:00 -0000
- Cc: COMMON-LISP at SU-AI
KMP misunderstands the proposal for a switch to convert output to lower
case. In the context of a Lisp that converts to upper case by default,
this switch would cause PRINT to do the following:
Figure out how the symbol would print normally, without the swtich being on.
If the symbol would print with |'s leave it alone.
Else, every character that is about to come out in upper case is
converted to lower-case and printed. Lower-case chars, which would
normally be printed with slashes, are left untouched and the slash is
This is guaranteed to read in correctly with the upper-case-converting
reader. If the user reads in such a file with conversion disabled, he
USER INPUT OUTPUT (normal) OUTPUT (with flag true)
FOO FOO foo
foo FOO foo
Foo FOO foo
|foo| |foo| |foo|
|X| X x
|x| \x \x
It is clear that, with or without the proposed switch, any printer has
to make some assumptions about what the reader is going to do.