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re: A more serious nit is that the issue is misnamed since there is
    no Common Lisp facility named "with-open-string".  The intended
    name was probably "with-output-to-string-append-style".

No.  This issue isn't just about with-output-to-string, but is an attempt
to unify FORMAT and WITH-OUTPUT-TO-STRING.  The fact that there is only
one proposal -- to alter with-output-to-string -- doesn't change that,
since I anticipated the possibility of a proposal to change format instead.

re: [Aesthetics:] ... also I think the Steele quotation [about FORMAT] was 
    never relevant to this issue.

Maybe you missed the humor in Guy's original quote?

-- JonL --