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Re: #.

> Thus while #. could be viewed as an adequate escape mechanism, it certainly
> couldn't be part of a general interchange language.

I have no very strong objections to special syntax for hash tables.

The same argument for special syntax does apply to other objects
including pathnames (for which Lucid (+ others) have the #P syntax),
readtables, and random-states.  Really, there is a need for users to
be able to define their own types, *including* syntax for reading them
in.  Once I start thinking of user-defined syntax, #. starts looking
more attractive again.