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doc string diatribe
Are you sure that c-sh-D in Zmacs doesn't display it? I think that
command was implemented back in the MIT CADR days, and I'd be surprised
if TI took it out.
I believe it was indeed part of Zmacs on the Explorer. I rarely use it
in Genera unless I'm dealing with my own code.
And even if not, what's wrong with DOCUMENTATION as the only interface?
It's what people familiar with Common Lisp expect. If they want fancier
interfaces they can always write them. Compare this to the Symbolics
situation, where one must use undocumented interfaces to the online
manual database and try to extract the textual information from the
Your point is well taken. Some time ago, we implemented a package
browser which, among other things, highlighted functions with embedded
documentation. I agree that the documentation database on Symbolics has
its disadvantages. TI briefly had an online manual system that ran
inside Zmacs, but they ran into licensing problems and the product was
If Symbolics's reason for not including documentation strings was to
keep the image size down, they could have implemented the DOCUMENTATION
function so that it got its information from the file system, just as
the Document Examiner does. Or they could have implemented
DOCUMENTATION so that it looks up in the online manual and extract the
I've never seen a written confirmation of what you describe (leaving out
doc strings to minimize image size), but have long suspected it. I
suupose that the lesson of this whole discussion is that sometimes an
"elegant" (and undocumented) interface screws things up for people who
want to do something much more basic.
John Krieger (email@example.com)
Westinghouse Savannah River Company