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Re: LAMBDA syntax counter-proposal
- To: David A. Moon <MOON at MIT-MC>
- Subject: Re: LAMBDA syntax counter-proposal
- From: Guy.Steele at CMU-10A
- Date: Wed ,30 Sep 81 23:32:00 EDT
- Cc: lisp-forum at MIT-MC
- In-reply-to: David A. Moon's message of 30 Sep 81 14:48-EST
Well, one might argue that supplied-p parameters are only pseudo-parameters
or meta-parameters, but on the whole your point is well taken. Instead,
I'll merely suggest that the correspondence between the parameter list
and a list of the arguments is "simple and natural".
You are also quite correct that a syntax shouldn't be designed to make
the compiler twelve lines shorter. However, I sincerely believe with
at least 60% of my brain that the proposed syntax actually is at least as
convenient for humans as the current &-syntax.
It is certainly true that the proposal does not lend itself to extension.
Recall rule  of the proposal: "That's all." The proposal was meant
as an example at one extreme of the design spectrum; it provides the
minimal capability in a simple way, and is not intended ever to be
extended. Now maybe that is not the design philosophy we want, and 20%
of my brain agrees (20% is still undecided), but that's another story.
As for call-by-keyword syntax, I am presently somewhat against putting
that into the base language. However, I would be glad to have my mind
changed by a super-winning proposal. (So far I haven't seen a good proposal
which discusses the syntax of calls thoroughly and also suggests feasible