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Double standard for keywords
- To: MMCM at MIT-MC, MOON at MIT-MC
- Subject: Double standard for keywords
- From: JONL at MIT-MC (Jon L White)
- Date: Wed ,6 Feb 80 14:47:00 EDT
CC: (BUG LISP) at MIT-MC, (BUG LISPM) at MIT-MC
Date: 6 February 1980 12:54-EST
From: Mike McMahon <MMCM at MIT-AI>
Subject: Bridging the colon gap
It is a total crock that the keyword package is the same as the user package.
I understand that it was moderately convenient at the time it was first im-
plemented, and that it avoided some problems in the cold load; however these
should have gone away long ago. Teaching users not to put in the colons is
decidedly a bad practice, it can only lead to their confusion, and as well
not allow for MACLISP compatible code outside of the user package. Unless
there are nearly insurmountable problems i am not aware of, i propose biting
the bullet and fixing this at the same time as the other incompatible changes
Yes, this is precisely the problem - that the system began without the colons,
then *some*, but not all users began using the, leaving us in the current
state where both are needed. Had the colon (or better yet, package prefix)
been necessary earlier, we wouldn't be in this state now.
Date: 6 February 1980 13:31-EST
From: David A. Moon <MOON at MIT-MC>
"The problem, as you remember, is that many people are
confused as to how to type keywords - most believe that the colon is
No, Jonl. The colon IS necessary, and if any believe otherwise they
are the ones who are confused. The fact that it sometimes works not
to type it is a bug and a crock, it is still necessary.
As your comments about the keywords to open show, the colon really isn't
necessary in user code - if it were, then maclisp would have no problem
with the "double standard". Would you (MOON) be in favor of MMcM's
suggestion to "bite the bullet"?