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Common Lisp

    Date: 18 Dec 85  2125 PST
    From: Dick Gabriel <RPG at SU-AI.ARPA>

    If asked to serve on the Common Lisp ISO committee, would you consider
    it? This is not an invitation, but I want to know whether to cross
    you off the list.

I would consider it and probably say no due to lack of time and
patience.  Don't cross me off the list before talking with me further.

Why not restrict the LISP: package to export only those things in the CL
manual, and not local language extensions?  I pose this as an example of
the kind of change I would require before considering the language
standardizable.  I suspect there are others, although I haven't thought
about it.

I think that someone like me with a little sympathy for a rigorous
approach to semantics could do a lot of good on such a committee, and my
opinion about the tractability of Common Lisp has changed somewhat in
recent months (in 1981 I said it was an absolutely lost cause, now I'm
not so sure).

We, at Lucid, have just gone through the hassle of putting into the Lisp
package only those things in CLtL, while our own extensions are in the
Lucid package. The Lisp package imports from the Lucid package. There
is too much opportunity for unfindable bugs if you don't do this. In fact,
I'm not sure we're gotten all the things in the right packages yet.
If I were a real user, I would not stand for a CL that didn't do this.

The mechanics of ISO will be to work on the ARPANET 90% of the time,
meeting face-to-face very rarely. We are all very busy, and we are interested
in top people. Please consider any invitation carefully. (Psst, maybe we can
sneak in continutations!!)