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    Date: 10 February 1980 14:55-EST
    From: Edward Barton <EB at MIT-AI>
    Subject: Per-file options
    A recent reply to someone asking about commas in (comment ...) 
    constructions recommended doing (SSTATUS MACRO ...) to turn off
    the commas, then possibly later re-enabling commas with another
    (SSTATUS MACRO ..) call.  In order to turn off mcommas for a particular
    file only, presumably there would be a SSTATUS at the beginning and
    another at the end of the file.
    . . . 
KMP has a utility, IOTA, to handle "clean-ups" after file loading.   But
the particular problem here really is something different;  it was Bob 
Sjoberg who sent the comment last week about commas in the text part of 
a lisp "(COMMENT ...)".   I spoke with him verbally Saturday about the 
root of the problem, and it is essentially this - there is yet no 
system-wide standardization for commentary text.  By this, I mean
that while the @ program looks for "(COMMENT ...)" in lisp source files,
and indexes these lines, it does not look for any of the kinds of commentary
which are independent of the lisp reader syntax;  if @ were to look for
comments which began, say, 
;;;@ <some comments I'd like tabulated in my @ listing>
then we'd at least escape the conflict with the lisp reader.  On the other
hand, Interlisp permits comments to be included right in with the souce
text (by storing them, I believe, in a special "comments" area), so something
like the maclisp "(COMMENT ...)" still has a place.  An interim solution
is to use |'s around the text of your comments, e.g.
(COMMENT |I hadn't thought about doing this; at least, not before now.|)
or, if one has strings enabled in maclisp, he could use " instead of |.