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re: Now the real question is, is this really what we want to do?  

Well, about a year ago, I became convinced that "we" out to give a
macro-definition for EVAL-WHEN, to greatly simplify it's description.
Your recent addition to the previous proposals for this macro is the
one that makes the COMPILE situation only relevant to "toplevel"; it
does make the coding a bit simpler.

A year ago, I might have been opposed to that simply because it meant
that "toplevel" would have to be rigorously defined, and I didn't think
it could be done in time.  But it looks like we *are* going to have to
do it anyway.  So we might as well go for the simplification you inspired.

-- JonL --