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[PARCVAX.XEROX.COM, not PARC-VAX] and Re: symbol-function of non-functions

[For those attempting to FTP the lisp course survey, the host name is

There was a misconception in David Plummer's reply that I think should
be cleared up. The explaination given was one where the
"symbol-function" implicit in obtaining the functional interpretation of
car-of-form was repeated until the result was not a symbol. I.e., Dave
assumed that

(defun bottom () "The end!")
(setf (symbol-function 'test) 'bottom)

would return "The end!"

(This was the basis for the description that the reason why NIL fails as
a value for symbol-function is because NIL  has no function definition.)

Nothing in CLtL requires this to be true. Many Common Lisp
implementations do not allow this form, although it is apparently
allowed in some.

Since apparently many people believe this is a property of Common Lisp,
it may be grounds for a "clarification".