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- To: jonl at MIT-MC
- Subject: Naming
- From: Guy.Steele at CMU-10A
- Date: Wed, 5 Nov 80 16:34:00 GMT
- Cc: bug-lisp at MIT-MC
- Original-date: 5 November 1980 1134-EST (Wednesday)
From: JONL at MIT-MC (Jon L White)
Subject: Your personal feelings about names
From: rwk,kmp at MIT-MC
. . .
(2) We disagree violently with releasing functions named +INTERNAL...,
|constantp/|| etc. These functions want reasonable names.
So just go ahead and remove them from the documentation. Who cares,
since nobody will use them anyhow.
In defense of documentation, though, I would say that the several
system packages are interrelated; e.g., several places call |constantp/||,
which would have the same functionality regardless of what you rename it to.
Furthermore, because of the interrelations, you can't fix the name argument
just by renaming them in the source.
You (RWK) invented some of them, and must have had good reason for
such functionality in the higher-level functions (like SETF). So why not
flush the documentation and let every loser re-invent the functionality?
I agree with the point which I think KMP and RWK were trying to make.
As I perceive it, they were arguing not that functions which have been
endowed with funny names should not be advertised, but rather that if
a function is useful enough to the user to be worth advertising in LISP
RECENT, then one ought to provide such a function with a reasonable
name. After all, names like +INTERNAL-FROBBOZ and |frobboz/|| are
purposely used to keep certain functions out of the user's hair; they
were chosen precisely because they are weird and hard to type.
This is okay for system types, but users shouldn't have to put
up with it. (Actually, it hurts my eyes just to look at a name
like |frobboz/|| -- which means it is *excellent* for its original
purpose. I certainly don't want to use such a name in *my* code!)
I don't understand the remark, "because of the interrelations, you
can't fix the name argument just by renaming them in the source."
Well, certainly you have to rename something everywhere it is used,
but since such a function is by hypothesis a "system function" before
it gets advertised, presumably you system wizards can get together
and find all such places. I think it would be worth it.